Calm In The Chaos Of The Summer Holidays

By Emma Churchill

Calm In The Chaos Of The Summer Holidays

By Emma Churchill

It’s that time of year again. As the end of the school year comes to an end, the task of juggling kids, jobs, pets, cars, houses, socialising, DIY and holidays all becomes very real. Fitness and mindfulness may be lying somewhere at the bottom of the priority pile. But just as children can suffer from the lack of structure and brain engagement during the summer holidays – your own health and happiness can suffer if not prioritised somewhat. Maintaining our wellness practices are intrinsic to creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for you and your family during this notoriously stressful time. Building resilience to stress is a key part of mindfulness training and can truly help in fashioning a summer programme that will both challenge and rest you deeply.

Before flying headfirst into the summer holidays without a plan, take a moment to acknowledge that your own wellbeing is important to the ease and enjoyment of all. A happy you makes for an easy and graceful summer break. Also understanding that it is okay to take a little time off. Being kind to yourself and loving your amazing body in all shapes, sizes and fitness levels is crucial to getting through the holidays with positive mental health. There may feel like 101 barriers to you continuing with your practice over the summer and I hear you. It can feel super difficult to prioritise maintaining flexibility and strength over the thousands of other commitments and offerings that pop up over the summer. However, there is a balance to be struck between all the many things to juggle, and one that can equally nourish you and your family during the school break. I know what you’re thinking… ‘I can’t possibly fit another thing into my day!’ And I hear you. Squeezing something into every little second in every single day is a sure-fire way to burnout, faster than the cries of ‘muuuuuuuuuuuuum’ float up the stairs in the morning. However, with a little planning and redistributing of priorities, you can easily survive the scorching summer months without losing your balance, your centre or your fitness levels. See below for a handful of suggestions on how to keep fit and healthy in mind, body and spirit this summer.

  1. Keep a schedule.

It sounds excessive, but with so much to fit into six weeks keeping up with your kids, work, regular commitments and your health requires a little planning. Set up an excel spreadsheet or pen-and-paper calendar and jot down your regular fitness commitments. Between 2-4 days a week will be enough to keep you on track!

  1. Choose holiday activities that you could join in with too!

Swimming, cycling, walking, paddle-boarding, horse-riding, sports, climbing, rafting, surfing. Choosing to go outdoors is not only good for yours and your children’s mental health, but can be super bonding too. Choose activities that you can do together – or that you can join in with! Be creative and think outdoors.

  1. Don’t forget your mat & workout gear!

Once the day gets hot, it’s easy to feel lethargic, relaxed or just too chilled out to bother going for a run or practicing yoga/Pilates. However, getting into the habit of fitting in 10-30 minutes of body movement in the early morning can be an amazing tool to keep your mind, body and spirit feeling good. Plus, you get a little quiet time to yourself. Bliss!

  1. Eat the rainbow.

Holidays can be indulgent for sure, but allowing yourself a treat once a day is a little easier to rectify than six weeks of solid binging. Keep a gentle eye on your nutrition and make sure you’re indulging in the beautiful array of summer foods that are on offer. Big, delicious salads, coconut water, colourful fruits, refreshing cucumber and a whole load of water.

  1. Choose one thing per day.

It might be a bit much to ask to take a full two-hour ashtanga, chanting and meditation practice at 5am followed by a long and mindful walk in the hills. So, whittle it down to one thing per day. On Mondays take a long walk, Tuesdays might be Pilates, Wednesdays Yoga practice, Thursdays a run, Fridays might be swimming and the weekends can be reserved for lie ins and long, juicy meditations.

  1. Meditate together.

Perhaps a little frustrating to begin with, but teaching children the benefits and joys of meditation is a crucial skill that will allow them to stay balanced through their whole lives. Spend time sitting or lying in quiet together and notice how the day slows down when you do. Plus, you may get a little bonding time in too!

  1. Keep coming to class.

Carving out the time for yourself to immerse in practice on a weekly basis can be a fantastic antidote to the heat and stress of the summer. Making sure you keep up your practice will also be the best way to reduce the impact on your mental and physical health as the summer draws to a close.

  1.  Rest.

In the reverence rest is meant to be held in. Take the time to rest deeply and allow the mind, body and soul to drink in the goodness of summer. Bliss!

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