Seven Simple Ways to Recharge this Summer
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Here is an article I recently wrote for The Homeschool Lounge, a free online forum for homeschooling moms. It’s a wonderful place to find (and give!) encouragement. And even if you aren’t a homeschooler, take a look at this article, you’re sure to find some tips for recharging. Be blessed! –Gena
Summer is here, and for many homeschooling moms, it’s a chance to put the books away, take a break from co-op and recharge in time to start again in the fall. And while the kids may enjoy the warm weather, complete with fierce water slides and drippy ice cream cones, moms need to carve out some time for themselves.
Before you start planning your lessons for the fall (if you haven’t already!), make sure you give yourself a mental break and do something just for yourself. And if that nagging sense of guilt tries to raise its ugly head, remember that even the Apostle Paul took time out of his busy schedule to be refreshed (Acts 27:3; Rom. 15:32). As you give yourself a mental and physical break while renewing your spirit, you’ll be ready to tackle the new school year with peace, joy and grace.
Here are seven simple (and cost effective) ideas for putting a smile on your summertime face.
Read… just for yourself… just for fun.
No, that new curriculum you just purchased does not count. Neither does the educational self-help book, the learning styles book or any other how-to-homeschool book that is on your to-read list. What does count is any book or magazine that you pick up and think, “That looks fun.” Novels, memoirs, spiritual helps, magazines and of course, the Bible are ways to give your mind a time-out from academic rigors. Often, these are times when inspiration hits, giving you fresh ideas for the fall.
Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
Set a time out with a friend or group of friends who encourage you and lift you up. Don’t call that person who complains about their life, husband or children. Find someone who speaks into your life like a fresh breeze, someone with whom you can be honest—someone who inspires you and simply makes you smile.
Plan a spa treatment for yourself.
Yes, we’d love to visit a swanky spa with master therapists who pamper us with plush towels and fabulous essential oils, but hey, we’re homeschoolers and many of our budgets just don’t allow it. That doesn’t mean you have to forego the pleasure; it just means you have to improvise. For a small investment, you can make your own spa treatments. MakeYourCosmetics.com offers several recipes. My favorite is their Easiest Body Sugar Scrub Ever which combines a cup of sugar, a half-cup of olive oil and two drops of vanilla or almond extract. Simply mix and enjoy!
Restart a hobby.
Dig out that half-knitted scarf, that unfinished sewing pattern, the untouched watercolors or any other project that you’ve been dreaming of finishing. Not only will finishing these projects give you a personal sense of accomplishment, the repetition of endeavors like knitting and crocheting have a physical calming effect that can be great for your health.
Plan a series of date nights with your husband.
Don’t miss the chance to reconnect with your spouse during this season of repose. To save money, try trading off date nights with another homeschooling family. Even if your outing only entails sharing coffee at your favorite bookstore’s beanery, this time can help you emotionally and mentally prepare for the upcoming year so that you stand united in your plans for your family.
Begin an exercise program.
When you feel physically strong and confident, you can’t help but pass that confidence on to your children and impact your home for the better. If you’ve wanted to improve your fitness level, shed some excess weight or set a new goal for yourself (like running or learning a new sport), start now. You may experience some initial soreness or need time to learn the process. Let this break give you the permission to do just that.
Try out new recipes.
If you are beginning a new fitness routine, you may want to adjust your menu too, or you may have always wanted to learn how to cook a certain cuisine, like Indian, Thai or vegan. Whatever the reason, fall in love with your kitchen again. Instead of clinging to the same-old, same-old, find new recipes that will inspire your children and entice your spouse.
Billy Graham once said, “Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.” So much depends on you being in the best possible place—spiritually, emotionally and physically. So before you tackle the upcoming school year, make sure to take some time to restore your health and wellness. Remember, you’re family needs you—the best possible and refreshed you!
If you have a way that you like to recharge, please share. Let’s learn from each other!
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