Slow Down
This Summer

Summer is fleeting. It almost feels like it’s over before it starts, so this year we suggest getting more from this short but sensational season by taking some much-needed me time. Stop and smell the roses – literally – before summer passes you by. We’ve come up with a list of simple yet effective ways of making the most of everyone’s favorite time of year.

Woman reading book outside with wine

1Prioritize

Summer often means packing way more than usual into most weekends and it can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Rather than try to cram every last activity, day trip and visit to Grandma's into the next two months, separate the must-dos from the want-to-dos. For every campsite that's already been booked or cottage that was rented in early spring, there's likely an amusement park visit or a neighbourhood barbecue that you can politely bow out of. The point is to make sure you get to do the things you've been planning or looking forward to all spring (and maybe even winter), but forgo the things that are just going to stress you out and take up too much time.

Once you've made your must-do list, resist feeling like you're not doing "enough." It's common to panic and think that after you've removed activities, now your calendar is too wide open. Think about it this way: Any free time you have now is yours to do with as you please.

2Just say no

This is probably the most difficult thing to do when there are so many people to see and so many things to do, but sometimes taking more me time means saying no – to your kids, to your friends, to your in-laws. You can't be expected to be everywhere all the time and although you may feel guilty turning people down, doing so will keep you saner in the end. The more stressed-out you are and the more directions you're pulled in, the faster the summer will fly by -- so fast that you won't even notice you've missed it until it's time to pull out the sweaters and warm clothes all over again.

3Plan a spa day

The ultimate solo day involves being pampered. If you can fit a trip to the spa (alone or with a close friend or two) into your summer budget, we say go for it! Spending the day getting a massage, facial, body scrub and pedicure can re-energize you and erase any stress about summer scheduling you might have been feeling. The best part is that while you're in the sauna or having your nails done, you won't be able to take that phone call from your mother-in-law asking when you're stopping by. Spa time is your time and it's important to treat yourself at least once this summer.

Check out these 5 fab urban day spas >>

4Give yourself a break

No one should feel the need to be a super-mom. As long as you love your family and take good care of them you shouldn't put too much pressure on yourself to make everyone happy all the time. Taking a day off from playing chauffeur or taking an hour at the end of the day to soak in the tub or enjoy a glass of wine on the back deck does not make you a bad mother – it makes you human. Plus the more me time you take, the less stressed out you'll be this summer -- which in the end makes you happier, healthier and a much better mom, wife and friend.

More time-management tips

Mommy-tasking: How to find more time to spend with your kids
Juggling work and family
Working mom 3.0: Scheduled stillness

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