Here we are nearing the end of May (!), summer is around the corner for most people on this part of the planet, and I’m wondering how many of you, single or coupled, have made any significant summer plans.
What I observe many people here in the Northeastern US doing is to avoid the subject, or fret about it without making decisions, or fight about it. Then Fall comes and many of these Northeasterners anguish about all the fun stuff they could have done and didn’t, while the weather was friendly. We therapists call this kind of behavior NEUROTIC!
Here’s a better idea for smart summer planning:
- Start thinking about your vision for a lovely summer, early, ideally in April or May.
- If you’re part of a couple, make a date to share your visions with each other, then create a mix which incorporates key parts of what you each want.
- Coupled or single, be adventurous and try new experiences and places. It’s good for you.
- If you have children of camp age, make reservations early, and factor what you and your partner need as a couple into the mix. Don’t let every minute be about the kids! Nurture yourselves too!
- If you’re single, think about what kinds of experiences will provide you with ample, meaningful social connections. Don’t allow yourself to feel more marginalized in this coupled world.
- Look realistically at your “To Do” list of projects and chores. If most of it feels like drudgery, set limits on your expectations. Many disappointments come from unrealistically ambitious expectations, and an imbalance between the “need to’s” and “want to’s”. Use cloudy or rainy days for the chores, so you don’t feel short-changed in the fun department on Labor Day.
- Build in time to stop and “smell the roses”. Over-scheduling often creates undo stress and anxiety.
- Create an ‘end of summer’ ritual, celebrating the season, and heralding in the unique beauty of the Fall season about to unfold.
- Rinse and repeat for Fall.
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