5 Ways to Stay Inspired as a Family Over the Summer
Summer time is a wonderful time for inspiring yourself and the ones you love the most...your family!
Together, it doesn’t take much, you can be inspired each and every day by simply exploring, reflecting and inviting curiosity into your days.
#1 ~ Let the Littles Lead
I’m a mom to two sweet toddlers, ages 4 and 2.5. I’ve found that the work weeks are long and filled with my to-dos, errands to run, things to do that keep our family and life moving forward. I hardly ever stop to "smell the roses" with my kids. I’m constantly on the go, and my children must conform to my day, leaving little room for us to explore and truly enjoy each other.
I’ve found that when I take a day, once a week, to let my kids lead the fun, I always come out ten times more inspired and in awe of who they are and their imaginations.
My husband, Adam, and I will ask them, "What would you like to do today?" They think a moment, and one will eventually pipe up, "I wanna SLIDE!" And so we pack up and head over to the community park where we slide, we jump, we explore. But the kicker is, to let them lead the fun.
There is something so empowering when you allow your children to lead. We’ve walked through the woods as pirates, jumped off of steps as monkeys and played air guitar countless times. And it is all so fun–a great way to hit the "reset button" and to simply be together.
I am always inspired by the fun we have. It’s almost as if our children have a unique perspective to life that forces us as parents to shut our overloaded brains off and to switch our child-like brain back on.
It is refreshing.
#2 ~ Do Something New & Exciting
Summer time is the best time to do something new and novel. The school year is full of routines and schedules that we almost become robotic.
I’ve always said, "if you aren’t doing something that gives you goosebumps every once in a while, then you aren’t truly experiencing LIFE." And so that is what we do–we get out and we explore, or we try a new class, or join a new play group, something that forces us out of the typical.
Why not try out a new destination this summer? Sign the family up for a co-ed beach volleyball team? Or learn a new skill together?
Inspiration comes from that which gives you goosebumps - the new and the exciting.
#3 ~ Start a Family Journal
One thing that I have started doing recently is a writing in a family journal, and I highly recommend this if you are seeking true inspiration from those you love the most. My dear friend, Nicole Annette with Journal Junky, has me hooked on journaling. There is something so powerful about reflection and words. When you incorporate the entire family–inspiration comes from each individual involved. Here is how it all works...
Pick up a blank journal from your local store (or you can order one off of the internet). Each day, during the summer months, pick a topic for everyone to write about on a page or two in the family journal. Write the topic at the top of the page in big letters. A few topic ideas include:
*My favorite part of today
*A positive note to one of your family members
*What gave you joy today
*Something fun and memorable from today.
Each person, at the end of the day, or throughout the day, writes something in the journal as it relates to the topic. With young children, we simply ask the question and write down whatever they say. Once everyone has written in the journal, we sit on the couch together with a big bowl of popcorn, or a yummy snack, and read the reflections. This is such a beautiful way to capture the little moments, thoughts and inspirations from each day throughout the summer.
#4 ~ Get Outside
It’s as simple as that. Stepping outside each morning as I sip my coffee is the best way to jumpstart my day. I take big deep breaths and speak positive affirmations into my life.
Throughout the day, we try to take "outside breaks" especially when I am working. As a family, we spend time outside, in our yard, playing, singing, dancing and simply breathing in the air and soaking up the sunshine. There is something so special about being outside, in our own space–together.
#5 "My Beautiful & Thankful Day"
This concept was introduced to me by my dear friend, Shannon. It is a wonderful way to end our day together and has become ritual for us, even outside of summer nights.
Every night before bedtime prayer, we sit together and talk about our day. Everything that was beautiful and everything we are thankful for. We list these off one by one, and then finish ourday with a nightly prayer.
I am constantly inspired and in awe of these little shifts we had made in our days. I invite you to explore and invite curiosity into your life this summer to then open your life up to more inspiration.
May you be inspired this summer...and always.
Mara Watts is an Asheville-based mamapreneur–a mother to two amazing children, a lover of words, a creative idea generator and a connection and relationship builder. She helps mothers all over the globe fall in love with themselves, discover balance, self-identity and a sense of purpose. Her passions include business and social media strategies as well as reading, playing the piano, dancing and centering on her yoga mat with her 2.5 year old daughter. Through her work, it is Mara’s goal and dream to create an online, world-wide place where mothers of all walks of life can call “home”– to feel held, loved and supported.