5 tiny tweaks to get your family into summer mode
Seasons give us permission to change our pace instead of plowing ahead at the same speed every day of the year. I accept summer as God’s invitation to modify and adjust my schedule, to allow myself space to breathe, and to slow down and try something new.
I’m making small tweaks and subtle shifts this summer. Some are practical and some are philosophical, and I’m inviting you to make them with me.
I’m slowing down my pace.
Please note that I did not say “quitting” or “now my pace is slow.” I’m simply moving away from feeling rushed and driven about the tasks to be done, posts to write, and places to go.
My heart feels a pull to rest, to quit pushing, to stop hustling.
My tweak is to do less and be okay with it. For example, I’ll post less on social media—not a major overhaul but a pace-altering adjustment. I’ll work out one less day a week simply because I need the mental break of solving logistical issues with watching the girls. These tweaks ensure that I’m not always pushing but still doing.
What tiny tweaks can you make to relax just a bit more this summer while still doing what needs to get done?
I’m getting rid of my cluttered inbox and notifications.
There’s something stressful about copious amounts of email flooding my inbox and notification badges popping up. It’s like, “Hey Jill, come check me. There may be something important here!”
My brain needs a time-out from constantly processing and sifting through unnecessary electronic junk. My mind needs a break from the little red circles on my apps.
My tweak is to unsubscribe from mailing lists, turn off notifications, and delete messages. I’m releasing the mental weight of carrying around electronic baggage so I can focus on the people in front of me.
What can you do to lessen your electronic baggage?
I’m less concerned about keeping our girls busy and more concerned about being intentional with their time.
When I look at the calendar, I see the number of summers remaining until our oldest leaves for college dwindling. I want us to live wisely in the time we have.
My body needs a break from unintentional movement.
My tweak is to be more intentional about our activities. Our intention is to expose the girls to people, experiences, and lessons that will allow them to know God and love others, have conversations that carry weight, care for their bodies, grow their brains, and knit Team McCormick closer together…and have fun!
Going to the pool is about fun and physical activity, not just escaping the sisterly fights. Doing chores is about teaching responsibility, not just keeping them busy. Trekking to the library isn’t about killing time but about building their brains. I’m not revamping our summer, I’ve simply spent some time defining why we’re doing what we’re doing.
In what areas do you need to practice intentionality? Do your summer activities align with your values?
I’m changing up what I’m reading.
Because I write for you, my fellow Achiever, I want to make sure that what I’m saying is supported by more than just my own thoughts, feelings, biases, and preferences. This causes me to read some pretty heavy and heady books.
My spirit needs a break from the heaviness.
My tweak is to integrate fiction and memoir. There are great stories and characters and places yet to be discovered. I want to laugh, to dive into different worlds, and to be inspired by the lives of others. (Tell me your favorite fictional book/memoir in the comments section please!)
Do you need to shake up the genre you’re reading or lighten the heaviness in another area?
I’m allowing the season to affect our senses.
I’m shaking up what we listen to, eat, and smell. In our pace and in our home, the coming of a new season should impact our senses.
My surroundings are due for a change.
My tweak is to add new music, more sweet treats, and new scents to our home. If you pull up next to us this summer, you’re more likely to hear the Beach Boys or Pandora’s “Everything is Awesome” radio blaring from our minivan. I’ll be more likely to indulge in an ice cream sandwich (you thought I was going to say I’ll eat more fruit…Ha!) Our home will smell less like vanilla + cinnamon and more like the seaside or lemonade. God gave us senses, and they’re not designed for the same input every day.
What in your daily life needs a shake up? What foods, scents, or sounds need a make-over?
Even when our physical seasons don’t change much, like Hot + Humid Houston, we can still accept the commencement of a new season to inspire us to change in small, subtle ways. We can pay attention to what our hearts, brains, and bodies are telling us and then make adjustments. We have permission to tweak ourselves into the best summer yet…are you with me?