4 Ideas for Surviving and Enjoying The End of School
Summer is around the corner and I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe it. The days are long but the years are short, am I right? With the end of the school year looming though it seems like graduations, end-of-year celebrations, and other various a-sundry events are abounding. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and resentful, but it doesn't have to be your truth! We can learn to embrace this time of year as well as try on a few new measuring sticks to gracefully bow out of a few things as well. Feeling the end of the school year overwhelm? Try on these ideas for size and see if you can end the year with more grace + joy instead of dread and overwhelm.
Here's what I mean. In our household, each of the kids have their own end of year parties. They have end of year concerts. They have recitals. They have end of year field trips. And amidst all that they are being invited to play dates and birthday parties. At the end of the year I have to set up some clear priorities and totally let go of everything that doesn't fit into those priorities. For example it's REALLY easy for me to skip birthday parties this time of year with everything else that we have going on. If it's not a super close friend, we are not going. Also I have given myself the freedom and permission to not chaperone every school field trip. I love going with them, but sometimes they actually like to hang out with their friends and other adults. I have to be super intentional about setting up and reevaluating priorities at the end of the year and taking the time to do so makes saying no to some things and then saying YES to other things so much easier.
2. Take it one week (or one day!) at a time
I think part of the reason why people tend to feel stressed and overwhelmed this time of the year is because we can put too much of an emphasis on the month as a whole. We fill out our calendars at the beginning of May and immediately start to dread it just looking at the sheer number of activities and the length of our to do lists. Instead try just taking it one week at a time. Don't think about the month as a whole. Plan our your week and then just take it one day, at a time. Not only does this reduce overwhelm, but it also increases your chances of living in the moment. And we're all about that.
3. Choose some tools
Sometimes we need a little help when making small shifts and changes. Maybe for you it looks like getting up an extra 30 minutes early to clear your mind and increase your chances of starting out your day with positive momentum. Maybe it's prayer or meditation. It could be coffee! Recognize those little things that kickstart and inspire positivity, cling to those and make them a priority. For me it's getting outside at least once day and making it a priority to start my day off with positive momentum. Some days that looks like jamming out to some Lisa Loeb before my kids wake up, or using essential oils for emotional support before all you-know-what breaks loose. (I like Peace and Calming or Bergamot). Whatever it is for you, you'll know it. Find it and do it!
4. Have fun
Easier said than done, right? This one will either make you want to punch me in the face or it resonate with you. Either way, it's worth the risk for speaking about this obvious, but oh so important component to actually enjoying the end of the year. And don't worry, I'm preaching to myself too. These celebrations, events and activities emphasizing the end of the year are meant to be fun! They are meant to let our kids know that we are proud of them and that they accomplished something. Instead of letting these celebrations overwhelm us, what if we reframed it and were active participants? Isn't that way more fun? It's a little coo-coo that I have to remind myself to have fun, but when I do, the experience is way better.
So maybe you aren't like me and don't have to reframe old thinking patterns and focus intentionally on the positive in order to embrace the end of the year madness. If that's not you, teach me oh sensei! But if you ARE like me and need a little extra boost as you walk through the end of the year, I hope this was helpful. Wishing you peace wonder and joy....and the freedom that comes with less.
P.S. - We did an episode all about social engagements and prioritizing your calendar a while back that may be helpful to revisit this time of year. You can check it out HERE!