It may feel indulgent to make summer plans for yourself. Or, it may feel hard to do given that there is still so much uncertainty. However you feel right now, I’d like to help you have a feel-good summer.
If you’re a smart and caring woman, the last 15 months were likely to have been exhausting. You probably took on even more responsibilities adding to your already full load. Again and again, you learned to pivot and adjust to a new and changing world. You did this in all of the roles you play, holding strong for your family, colleagues, and extended community members.
You’ve been a superstar.
No matter how well you might have coped, the added stress of uncertainty had to have had an impact. That’s normal…understandable.
Now that summer is here, let’s reclaim some of your time and energy so that you can continue to nurture your loved ones but also rest and recharge your own life.
The goal here is not to add to your plate, but to add some space and ease into your summer so that when the fall comes round you feel recharged once again.
How to Make Summer Plans for Yourself
Let’s break this down into two broad steps.
Step 1: Assess where you are right now.
How am I feeling?
Then listen to your mind, heart and body.
Step 2: Depends on your answer…
If you are feeling tired or weary for any reason, do not make any plans for yourself. Attempting to will only add more stress. Moreover, you’re probably depleted trying to plan out everyone else’s summer!
Instead, your focus should be recharging your own batteries. To do this, please check out:
Once you feel a bit rested then come back to this article.
If you are feeling rested, you might be feeling restless to do something. If that’s the case read on.
You’re the type of person who will get done what you need to. But, here, let’s focus on what you want to get done.
Again, this might feel indulgent but it is not. This is the proper way to do “self-care.” Don’t led the ads and general media fool you. Self-care is not heading out for an occasional spa day (although those are quite nice!). Self-care at a basic level is about the day-to-day management required for a healthy life. And, on a more “advanced” level, it is about nourishing one’s soul.
I also believe that the soul knows what it wants (and needs). But, often we don’t take time to listen to that voice deep within us.
Therefore this summer, let’s focus on just one small achievable project that would feed your soul. We’re only focusing on one small project at a time so for two important reasons:
- By focusing on one project you say “yes” to, you can more easily say “no” to everything else. (Check out “Ten tips for Saying No” you have a very hard time doing so.)
- By focusing on a small project, you’re more likely to get a small win that can lift your mood to motivate you to do more.
While a small project that feeds your soul can widely vary, it usually centers around one or more of the following themes.
- Mastery: building up a skill
- Connection: nurturing relationships that matter
- Creativity: expressing oneself more freely
(Note: These are categories are similar to ones Cal Newport has shared on his blog and on his podcast. I’ve adapted them a bit to better suit women and what I have learned from my clients.)
To give you some ideas on summer plans for yourself, here are some examples for a small projects based on loosely on conversations I had recently with some smart and caring women:
- A young artist said she feels she should read more but couldn’t get herself to do so. It turned out that she thought she should be reading certain types of books she had no interest in. Once she gave herself permission, she found she loved reading graphic novels and began delving deeper into that art and story-telling form.
- A busy mom said she has so many ideas she can’t settle on one project. Should she say “yes” to a volunteer opportunity, should she look for a part-time job, should she work on remodeling a section of her home, the list was was very long. Rather than try to consider all of the options, we decided she should choose the most immediate one and work on it for just the next few days. Since she had to give an answer to the non-profit, she focused on whether or not she should say yes. She scheduled a conversation with some contacts she knew in the field and read some recommended resources. She ultimately decided not to do it. We celebrated her decision. From there, she more easily moved on to another small project.
- A professional with a full-time job came up with an exciting idea for a side hustle. It very quickly attracted customers and she could see that there were several different ways she could move forward. For her, we decided that her project would be to make a choice of which direction to take. We set up a deadline and she identified what she needed to learn in order to make that decision.
How will you make summer plans for yourself? What are your body and soul telling you? How will you nurture yourself this summer? How will you rest and recharge? What small project might you tackle?
I’d love to hear what you might do. So please contact me.
And, if you’d like some additional help jumpstarting a summer for yourself, please subscribe to my newsletter. Not only will you receive my “Easy Time Management Tweaks” PDF download but you will receive a special coaching opportunity only available to newsletter subscribers.
Feeling “too busy” or overburdened?
Try one of my five best Easy Time Management Tweaks for Smart and Caring Women. And, if you’re not already receiving my newsletter, you’ll have the option to become a subscriber.