This is a special guest post by Kelly Bourne
I have a history of being ambivalent about summer.
It’s supposed to be this super-chill, stress-free, maxin’ & relaxin’ kinda time, but in reality it’s more like a dash of unmet expectations mixed with sunburns, runny noses, and a whopping dose of “am I the only one stressed out right now?”
It hasn’t always been my fave…
Last summer was a prime example.
I was absolutely convinced that *everyone else* had it together, enjoying the dog days of summer without a care in the world, while I was essentially stressing about not being relaxed enough.
Except that as soon as I started talking to other parents, I realized that so many of us were in the same boat.
Photo: Kelly Bourne
With massive expectations on ourselves and our kids to soak it all up, we were slowly driving ourselves crazy, itching to get back into the routine and busyness of the fall.
Knowing we didn’t want to feel stressed.
Knowing that we’d like to have more patience with our kids.
But not having a flippin’ clue HOW to actually make it happen.
So I decided to do something about it.
Fast forward a year and I’m ready to frickin’ OWN summer.
Armed to the gills with practical stress-busting strategies, I’m ready to share my goods with anyone who will listen.
So since you’ve made it this far, I’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ that I’m guessing will be right up your alley.
Because here’s the thing:
Everyone and their brother talks about “happiness” and “gratitude” like it’s the saviour of all that ails you.
And you know what —
It actually is.
But the tricky part is that no one ever tells you HOW to find your happy when you’re feeling stuck.
Or HOW to work those gratitude muscles.
So we’re going to change that.
And because knowledge is quite literally useless without action, I’ve got a little action plan for you.
A stress-busting guide you can print off, scribble on & work your happy until it becomes second nature.
Photo: Kelly Bourne
Now — let’s get on to the good stuff…
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Take note of the good
Sounds obvious, right? Except that we never do it.
We pick apart everything that annoys us, everything that went wrong, or went *not quite* as fabulously as we imagined, and slowly stress ourselves into a head full of gray hair.
So here’s your challenge:
Start taking note of the good, old school style.
Break out that pen and paper and get ‘yo ass to work.
The best part?
You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this.
I do it once a week, on Sundays.
I sit back with my planner, going over each day of the past week and write out a list of all the awesome things that happened.
I’m talking instant gratitude boost.
Plus it sets you up for success going into Monday, so it’s a total win/win.
2. Give thanks
The next time you’re feeling stressed, playing that comparison game with your neighbour Tiffany who is off to the South of France with her three perfect children for the entire summer, bust out your action plan and get writing about what you’re grateful for.
And I challenge you to really think.
Ask yourself about the things you take for granted on the daily.
And then imagine what your life would be like without them.
Like seriously imagine it.
No running water.
No hugs and kisses from your toddler.
No “good night Mommy, I love you” before bedtime.
It puts things into a whole new perspective…
3. Reach out and touch someone
And no — not like that.
This isn’t that kind of blog post so get your mind out of the gutter…
I’m talking a genuine acknowledgement of someone you love or has impacted you in a positive way.
Reach out and share the specific reasons why you appreciate them.
A phone call, an email, a lunch date.
Just get specific and let the good vibes flow.
I’m telling you — this one boosts the happy juices like no other.
Do these three things on the regular and I’m willing to bet you see some positive change in your life.
The small stuff?
You won’t sweat it.
The big stuff?
You’ll take it in stride, facing the challenge head-on with the confidence to know that you’ll make it through.
Because you’re awesome.
And you’ve got this.
Now — if you’re you’re liking what I’m putting down and think you’d like to hang with me this summer, you’re in luck.
I’ve just opened registration for my Summer Chill Squad and I’d love for you to join me. I’m talking a private parenting community specifically dedicated to squashing your biggest stresses so you can make this summer YOUR summer.
Forget Tiffany and her perfect kids.
You can hang with us, make some new friends, and learn some practical strategies for boosting happiness and squashing stress without leaving the comfort of your home.
You’ll be glad you did.
With a passion for encouraging and inspiring parents to ditch survival mode, Kelly Bourne (BA, BScN, CPDPE) is an engaging and entertaining Parenting Educator who “gets it.” Whether providing real-time tips on her blog, Facebook Page or by running digital group coaching programs, her relaxed, non-judgemental style opens the door to creating lasting change in the families she works with. Always a fan of keeping it real, you can find her behind-the-scenes moments on Snapchat, so make sure to stop by and say hi!