Summer Break To-Don’t Lists

You’ve likely spent your entire school year writing down weekly reminders for yourself or making to-do lists. This summer break, prepare yourself for less stress by formulating “to-don’t” lists chock-full of things you can’t seem to stop doing despite their unimportance and the stress they can add to your life. Much like to-do lists, everyone’s to-don’t list is different. If you’re having trouble thinking of some summer break to-don’ts, ask yourself

(1) if someone else can accomplish the task, (2) if it can wait until a later time, (3) if it can be altered in a way that makes the task simpler or less time-consuming. If it helps make the task less stressful, maybe to-don’t lists should really be at the top of your summer break to-do list.


Spruce Up Your Space by Season Shifting

When you walk into a space where you spend a lot of your day, the room should greet you with a hearty “hello.” If it doesn’t, there’s room for improvement. A good place to start is to embrace the current season. Most seasons have their own natural mementos—fallen leaves and pumpkins of autumn, bare branches and pinecones in winter, and the flowers of spring and summer. Take a few minutes outside to gather up some natural finds. Then, decorate the room with what you’ve found. Use pebbles as paperweights or place fresh-picked flowers in a vase. It’s a great way to keep you grounded while also making the place in which you spend most of your time feel a lot more like home.

Planning for Future Fitness

Exercise is a widely known stress-combatant, but sometimes saying you’ll exercise and making time to exercise are two halves of a whole that never meet. Before you get caught up in your busy time off from the school year, take 10 minutes with a calendar and plan your daily, weekly, or monthly summer fitness routine. No cutting corners allowed! Tip: Ask your friends and family to plan on being workout pals for specific dates and times, because you’re certainly not the only one with a busy summer.



Guided Imagery

The aim of guided imagery, like many meditative techniques, is to direct your focus away from negative thoughts toward positive ones. A guided imagery session starts with a script or recording, sometimes with the help of a practitioner, or nowadays with the help of handy apps such as Simply Being and Mindfulness. Once focused, you’re then asked to imagine yourself in a serene location designated by the script. Throughout the script, you engage every one of your senses by incorporating colors, sounds, tastes, scents, and textures into the experience. Many who journey into guided imagery throughout their week find that they are more settled and are even able to momentarily escape into serene environments when abruptly confronted with difficult or painful tasks.