Debbie Gross, LCSW, Ltd. - Individual, Marital & Family Therapy

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One Therapist's Reflections

Finding ME in Summer!!

June 14, 2009

Find Time for Yourself This Summer

As I sit at my computer right now, I am thinking of the 10 projects 
that I have started, but have yet to finish. Many times, as a parent, 
I find myself juggling so many different things, and the ball that 
gets dropped usually has my name on it! So, I am going to use this 
blog to jot down the things that I am promising to accomplish this summer. I encourage each of you reading this to do the same. If 
you will hold yourself more accountable by sharing it on this blog, 
feel free. In a few weeks, I’ll be checking my list to see how I’m coming along. You know how they say there's no "I" in TEAM? Well, there is ME in SUMMER! We are better parents when we feel good 
as individuals!

1. Rid my house of things that we NEVER look at or use, one room 
at a time. I have started this – today I purchased 50 large green garbage bags. Starting with my closet, dresser, and drawers, I 
have filled 2 garbage bags. I am enjoying reminiscing through old photos (I saved those), and loving the clean, rearranged drawers. 
We tend to get used to the clutter over the years. Many people 
can't seem to part with their possessions, even if they haven't 
used them for a long time! When going through your children's 
artwork and school projects, have them select 5 items or so per 
year to save. Pick the ones that have the most meaning, or define 
your child from that age. Put all the items in a large bin and store 
it away to look at or gift to them in the future.

2. Play! For me this summer, it's golf. On my first week, I will say 
the first five holes were not reminiscent of the golfer I used to 
be! But during the last four holes, I got two bogeys and redeemed myself. It felt great to be outdoors, chatting with the ladies, and moving! Afterwards, we shared lunch together, and it was such at treat! Great women, good food, wonderful conversation. For 
some of you, your play activity might be tennis, softball, bowling, 
mah jongg, or an art or photography class. Whatever your personal hobby, make time each week to enjoy it!

3. Exercise! We need to take care of our bodies, and tired parents sometimes forget about this. I have! But this past week, I logged 
about 6 miles in three separate outings. My walking buddy and 
I did not use the lousy weather as an excuse to sit at home – one 
day, I used the treadmill, on the other, we walked the mall! 
Talking with a friend and getting some well needed exercise feels amazing! Do you have one of those health club membership cards 
that hasn't seen the outside of your wallet in a while? Well, 
there's no time like today to use it!

4- Talk to your partner! Most of the time, parents are in tag-team mode. One parent is running in one direction, while the other is 
flying off in another, usually with one or two kids in tow. Try to 
find at least 5 minutes each day to talk face-to-face to your 
spouse or partner with no interruptions. This means no TV, 
folding laundry, answering the phone or dealing with the kids…
truly just time for each other to attend to one another. You’ll be surprised how 5 minutes a day leads to feeling more connected 
and in sync with each other. Remember, couples' time is NOT just reserved for Saturday date night!

As you think about making your own list, be creative. Imagine 
yourself reconnecting with an old friend, going to a movie by 
yourself, getting a massage, or spending the day in your pajamas 
“just because”. The goals don’t have to be monumental to have 
an impact on your life. Just find ways to focus on yourself and 
feel good about it. I’ll still go to work, get the groceries, pay 
the bills, make sure the kids are cared for, and wash the dishes. 
But I am also going to make sure that the ME in SUMMER gets 
some attention!


24 Comments to Finding ME in Summer!!:

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