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Therapist Blog

Taking over: Your Summer, Your Life. Guide to Letting Go of Expectations and Enjoying Yourself

While summer can be so bright and happy for many, it may also have other tasks or mindsets associated with it, such as; time to take a vacation, time to reorganize my life so winter will be less stress, time to go outside in less covering clothes, time to have more fun, time when the kids are at home, etc. With all of that may come stress about finances, anxiety/anticipation to figure things out, body shame, time management stress and possibly other feelings about keeping up with the Jones'. 

When we have exactions for ourselves and for others we are setting ourselves up to be disappointed at times, and acknowledging that as an inevitable situation is key. The question than comes then to, what is reasonable to anticipate or expect, perhaps its that we are doing the best we can, and so are other people. The pressure to afford a huge summer family vacation or sign our kids up for activities or get our bodies in the best summer shape or reorganize our life during "downtime from school" can have angles or edges that don't feel so great. Perhaps it feels overwhelming, anxious from anticipation, or full of guilt and shame.

Of course Mindfulness is always a go-to, just sit with your emotions and let yourself experience them without holding too much attachment to your thoughts and the situations that present themselves. Practicing this can help you separate yourself from the thoughts, feeling and behaviors, while taking ownership for them. However that can feel perhaps a little too contained or intellectualized for some people. Also, its unrealistic for us to do that all the time, and we may find ourselves judging ourselves from falling away from that practice. Its bound to happen, taking a non-judgmental stance to both yourself, and the world around you can be incredibly beneficial as you radically accept the here and now for exactly what it is. Because we are creatures of habits, and we will become overly emotional and unwound at times, let that happen from time to time. Lets face it, we can't be perfect, and we will find ourselves landing left or right of center.

Let your children make mistakes, let yourself and your partner make mistakes. If you fall short of making that magical vacation happen, or slim down to that certain size, or don't prepare yourself for going back to school in exactly the way you wanted to,  or all the other summer goals you've created, thats okay. Enjoying your time, and your space each day is what makes a life worth living.