Toasting a Stress Free Summer!


I heard on the radio recently that there’s a new study out about champagne—apparently, a couple glasses of champagne each week have as much health benefits as red wine because of the anti-oxidants, and they also help improve memory. Who knew! Of course, as another school year is coming to an end, and a new summer is starting, this may motivate some to run out to buy even more wonderful bubbly! My preference? A nice rose’.

As you’re toasting to summer, and bidding a perhaps fond (or not) farewell to another school year, what will you be toasting to? Better health? Improved motivation? Weight loss? Financial security? Stronger relationships? More patience with your kids? Or, how about all of the above?

Enthusiasm for change often times last but a few days or weeks. People lose their excitement rather quickly—Kids become bored all too soon once school lets out. Instead of stressing over the boredom, or lack of motivation, how about a promise to take time to ‘smell the roses’ in life, by practicing mindfulness, being more present and aware?

Let’s face it, we all get so busy with our everyday lives that we forget to capture the joy in the little things, right? We rush around from meeting to meeting, rush our kids from one event to the next, and don’t often enough take time out to just be. We all do it. Life often times feels like a ‘rat race,’ right? But, how do we change that?

Well, learning to say, “no” is a good place to start. Nobody can be all things for everyone all the time.  Overscheduling ourselves, our kids, and our work contributes to our stress, health issues, weight gain, motivation, relationship stress, and so forth. If overscheduling does this to us, then what is it doing to our children? And, since children learn what they live, we’re teaching them how to over schedule and stress lots—not the best subjects to teach.

Learning to take time out for ourselves, and our kids—not running them around, but really taking a ‘time-out’ for them, doesn’t happen overnight, but baby steps in this direction can help build improved communication, less stress, and an overall strong bridge that can arm them with the confidence to handle so much more.

Here are a few suggestions to get started:

  • Sit down at the table to eat dinner together—at home. Ideally we would do this every night, but that’s an unrealistic goal in these busy times. But how about 3-4 nights each week? Or, create your own number of times each week that would be a comfortable place to start. (No cell phones, either!)
  • Turn off the television and talk! We’re in the age of electronics—we all have them. Take time away from them and have a good, old-fashioned conversation. Ask your child, your loved one about their day, what’s going on, about their own goals.
  • Play games—not computer games, but board games or card games. It’s a time to exercise your brain in a different way, and laugh. You’ll find it’s also a great way to relax.
  • Don’t forget, when it’s time to crack open some bubbly on a special occasion—make sure you have something special for the kids to partake of, too—they will love it!

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About Janet Belford

Janet Belford, RN, CLNC, has been a registered nurse for over 24 years, having worked in the pediatric and adult patient populations in critical care, outpatient, case management, and hospice. She is also a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. She brings to the table a passion about patient rights, informed consent, healthcare integrity, domestic violence, patient and family education, mentoring for fellow nurses, and end-of-life care. It is part of Janet’s mission to ‘be real’ with patients and families, not shy away from ‘difficult conversations,’ and to advocate for patient rights.

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