Being an adult can be complicated. You need a break from balancing a full workload and running your household. Take time to rekindle your youthful nature and rediscover child-like wonder this summer. Here are some summer break-inspired lessons to reduce your grown-up anxiety.
Reconnect with Nature
Nature holds endless possibilities for children. Rediscover the joys the outdoor world can bring: backyard shrubs become secret forts and mud puddles become treacherous lakes. As we age, however, we tend to lose this innate sense of adventure. We equate those same shrubs and mud puddles to gardening chores and extra laundry.
Go barefoot; the feeling of grass on your will bring you back to simpler times. Dig in the dirt; gardening is a chance to get muddy and leave the dirty laundry for another day. Climb trees or build a tree house or backyard fort. Go for a bike ride; set out in the morning with no route in mind. Collect seashells or sea glass. Use them to make a windchime or jewelry, or just toss them back at the end of the day. Go for a nature walk and try to identify flowers, trees, and insects. Host a water balloon fight. Build and fly a kite. Blow bubbles.
Most adults take life too seriously. From worrying about expenses to developing a career, it's easy to forget how to relax and have a little fun. While these responsibilities are important, being silly is a great way to connect with children on their level and to remember that life doesn't always need to be so complicated. If you've lost that creative nature and imagination that drove your childhood self, it's time to reinvest in your silly side.
Pick up some humorous children's literature from the library and spend a rainy afternoon reading with your kids. Host games or a puppet show with your children and their friends. Take an improv class and perform for a group of friends at the end.
Enjoy Summer Nights
As a child, staying up past bedtime and playing outdoor games with neighborhood kids constitutes the perfect day. Unfortunately, many adults let game-playing go by the wayside as responsibilities take over. To rekindle your childlike nature, spend an evening outside playing such games as flashlight tag or hide and seek. Make it a family affair or recruit others in your neighborhood to join in on the fun.
If you prefer more relaxing summer evenings, purchase an inexpensive fire pit and gather with your family to have a campfire in the driveway, backyard, or deck. Catch fireflies and share scary campfire stories or stories from your childhood. You could learn a few things you didn't know about your children or spouse.
Appreciate the Heat
When the summer heat arrives, it's easy to take cover in an air conditioned house, waiting for cooler days to arrive. Instead of cooping up indoors, make the most of the summer heat. Round up the kids, lather on the sunscreen, and turn on the sprinklers or make a slip and slide out of an old tarp. Or, pile into the car for a day at the nearby public pool, lake, or beach. After you're soaked from head to toe, continue to cool off with a large helping of ice cream--and don't count the calories.