Dreamy, sun-kissed days, endless hours of family fun, balmy evenings spent chasing fireflies with the kids – summer is everyone’s favorite time of year. But summer can slip away in the blink of an eye. Are you doing something to grow as a person and bond as a family? Here are 5 rules to live by this summer and make the season more meaningful.
1. Meet Someone New
We all settle into our comfort zones. We socialize with family and the same set of friends. We do the same things with the same people – a dinner date with the husband, lunch and a movie with the girlfriends, a day at the water park with the kids. This summer, vow to meet someone new. That neighbor who always waves, but whose name you don’t know – strike up a conversation and get to know her.
2. Learn Something New
It can be anything. Don’t know how to swim? It’s never too late to learn. Always wanted to play the piano? Start taking lessons this summer. Dream of going to France? What’s stopping you from learning the language? You’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. You’ll meet new people (see #1 above!). Your self-esteem will grow. And who knows, you may just discover a new talent.
3. Overcome a Fear
Afraid to get on an airplane? Scared of heights? Too chicken to bungee jump or skydive? Conquer your fear by identifying what triggers it. Recognize that your fear does not represent actual danger. Educate yourself to overcome your anxiety. Desensitize yourself one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be reveling in the rush of adrenaline that only jumping out of an airplane can give you.
4. Go Somewhere New
Taking your family to the lake where your parents took you as a kid and where you learned to swim has a special meaning. It brings back happy memories. It connects generations. It builds traditions. But when you take your family somewhere new, you instill confidence and adaptability. You teach your kids to be more culturally sensitive and tolerant. You foster resourcefulness. So, take that cross-country road trip you’ve been planning. Just make sure you know the essential safety tips for kids in cars in the summer.
4. Give Something Up
Is your home a mess? Hold a garage sale and get rid of some of your stuff! Experts believe clutter overloads our brains and can even lead to depression. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used or worn something for more than a year, you don’t need it.