Summer Time Family Time

Summer Family Time
Summer Family Time

After a long and very wet winter and spring, summer is here, well unofficially here!

Summer is a great time to get out and explore and connect with nature, breathe fresh air, adventure, snap pictures, attend and host BBQ’s and bonfires! Enjoy the beach, mountains, lakes, rivers, ocean, forests. A great time to go on a cruise, go camping, do a road trip, day trip, picnic and travel abroad!

But please take time for family! We all get so busy that sometimes we don’t include family in our summer plans.

Only getting together with family for winter holidays is not enough!

When our children were littles, summer was all about family time! Camping and boating and road trips and outdoor adventures! Watching shooting stars! We bought a fire-pit and had many campfires every summer in our own backyard with s’mores and family time! And trips to go see grandparents and extended family!

Now my littles are all grown up, my littles are bigs now, and living here, there and everywhere.

If you live away from your parents or your children, it’s hard to get everyone together in one place at the same time, but try!

Try to plan ahead so you can meet up with family somewhere this summer all in one place! If it’s one of your homes, that’s great, it doesn’t have to be some fabulous vacation destination or cruise! But bonus if it is! It’s all about staying connected with your family, not necessarily the location. But if y’all can meet at a great location, that’s great!

An absolutely awesome and wonderful way to connect with family over the summer is a family camping trip! Invite grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins! Make it an annual event!

I am so lucky that my sons live in some great places! Last summer, we had a family weekend in Yosemite where one son lives and works. Then we had a family weekend in Laguna Beach where another son lives, works and goes to school. This year, there was a Hollywood weekend where another son lives off-and-on! One son couldn’t make it to Hollywood -and that happens- another son was unable to join us for Easter. Work and life get in the way all too often. But make the effort! Plan ahead.

If you can’t all get together, make the effort to see your family members individually this summer.

I have a dear friend with two adult daughters. They used to have an annual mother-and-both-daughters weekend but it has become two separate annual mother-daughter weekends, one daughter at a time. This works well for them! The sisters still connect on a regular basis as well.

Don’t get so busy that you don’t spend time with family this summer.

It’s not too late to make plans for July or August – or September even!

Make an effort to spend time with your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, your nieces and nephews, your aunts and uncles and cousins, and your children – whether they are littles or bigs!

For those long trips with littles to visit family, entertainment in the car or on a flight is a great way to optimize happy travels -for all of you- and with today’s electronics, it’s easy. But there’s also the old-fashioned travel games such as magnetic chess and checkers and age appropriate toys. And Books!

And I can’t say enough about Mad Libs! Great and hilarious road trip/camping fun for the whole family! And they teach language basics: nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. Learning while having a blast with the whole family! Play in the car or around the campfire!

Each child with their own backpack or tote bag full of entertainment, snacks and water bottles helps with those long trips. And stop often to stretch legs!

Don’t forget pillows. I’ve included some links below.

Have a great summer! Take lots of family photos! 🌞♥️

Photo Credits: Sharon Britton Schoppman, Cinde Hagelberg, Erica Shepard, Heather Schmidt, Martine Nelissen, and me ~

8 Mood Boosting Strategies 

 

Sometimes we get in a bad mood and can’t pull out of it. But sometimes it just takes something simple to put you in a good mood! And avoid bad moods!

I’ve seen this stuff work! Even for people with medication-induced moodiness! Give them a try!

  1. Count Your Blessings

Scientifically proven to improve your mood and even combat depression. Counting 50 things you’re thankful for everyday really improves your mood! You don’t have to sit down and list them, you don’t have to jot them down. Just do it in your head, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing and if it takes all day, that’s ok. If you repeat items from previous lists, that’s ok, too! So when a bad mood strikes, get started! Think about what you’re thankful for! You will notice that it improves your mood! Great mood enhancer!

2. Exercise

Exercise improves not only your physical health, but it improves your mental wellbeing, as well. It boosts your mood. Go for a walk! For more on exercise, especially with health limitations, click here. 

3. Get Your Nature Fix

Getting out in nature is a great way to improve your mood! Take a nature walk or drive or hike! For more on the effects of Nature Deficit Disorder, click here. 

4. Meditation and Prayer 

Meditation and prayer helps alleviate anxiety, stress and depression. It really helps improve your mood. You can YouTube some guided meditations.

5. Eat Well

The foods we eat greatly affect how we feel both physically and mentally. Eat clean. Eliminate fast food and junk food. Get your nutrient-dense-super-foods smoothie/juice on! For more on this, follow my blog!

6. Aromatherapy 

I used to be a skeptic, but aromatherapy is an effective treatment protocol! Now Brand: Cheer Up Buttercup is a blend of essential oils that improve mood. There’s a link below.

7 Foods that Improve Mood

  • Avocado
  • Grapes
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Raw Nuts
  • Wild-Caught Salmon
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Strawberries

8. Herbs and Supplements

  • Lavender
  • Omega-3 Fish Oil
  • B Vitamins
  • Vit D
  • St John’s Wort
  • 5-HTP

I’ve included some links below to some of my favorite brands of these supplements.

Use this great drug interaction checker before using supplements with medications:

https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html

For more on moods and coping, go here.

Here’s to good moods for all ♥️

References

Dr. Josh Axe. Dr. Mehmet Oz