Summer fun, out of school, long days full of sun, free-time…
These are ideas that usually evoke a sense joy but for some can be a recipe for stress. Summer is full of these experiences. Changes in regular routines that work and school provide sometime causes stress that can lead to dysregulated emotions. This can be true for both children and adults. The goal is to achieve a balance of fun opportunities within a schedule and stay emotionally regulated. Providing a visual schedule for yourself or the children in your life is a helpful tool to keep the calm and boost the fun!
It may seem counterintuitive to plan fun or strategize your free-time. For people who become dysregulated with changes in schedules or become anxious with new or different activities making a plan, especially a visual plan, is a vital connection to staying regulated and truly enjoying the magical time of summer.
A visual plan can be as simple as a Sticky Note with the main activities of the day listed or drawn in order; 1. Breakfast 2. Swimming in the pool 3. Lunch 4. Rest/read my book 5. Ride scooter/bike ride 6. Dinner 7. Movie 8. Go to bed. Creating a plan can feel restricting but building in the plan A, plan B concept to account for the unexpected helps to add flexibility to any plan.
Include activities in your plan that are known to help calm or comfort. The increased light of summer days may make sleep more difficulty to achieve. Use calming strategies such as light blocking window blinds, a weighted blanket or white noise machine/app to help with rest and sleep times.
Enjoy your summer days and nights and as always, our best to you.