by Anita DiGregory
Conquering Spring Fever
With spring break over, and the end of the school year in sight, this time of year can be especially challenging. Final testing, graduation ceremonies, weekend team games, teacher gifts, and other end-of-the-year demands require added energy and motivation; however, the warmer weather and mere exhaustion from the year can lead to the exact opposite. It seems that just about the time allergy season kicks in, so does the dreaded and very overwhelming “spring fever.” Symptoms include uneasiness, sluggishness, lack of motivation, and inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Worst of all, spring fever seems to be very contagious, spreading from child to child, and child to parent, quite effortlessly. Since the CDC has yet to offer a vaccine for this motivation slayer, here are a few tips that may help you to reach that light at the end of the tunnel, otherwise known as summer.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
With all the added demands of the end of the year, things can feel a bit overwhelming, while our energy tanks may be pretty close to empty. Prioritize your to-do list. Try focusing on those events that are the most important, and letting the others slide a bit for now. When you are busy running your kids to different activities and team sports games, while also trying to help them complete end-of-the-year projects and study for finals, now may not be the best time to take on other big projects like remodeling or reorganizing the house.
Set a Schedule
During these last few weeks, a little planning may prove helpful. Recording events on a large calendar, and displaying it where everyone in the family can regularly see it, can be a powerful tool for effective time management. Prioritize your schedule to include only those events most necessary to accomplish. Displaying the calendar for all to see helps to instill family teamwork.
Schedule Free Time
It is especially important during stressful times that families take time to just be together and have fun. Former Director of the National Park Service and Board Co-chair of the U.S. Play Coalition Fran Mainella said, “Families that play together, stay together…so when tougher situations come up, the fact that they’ve played together makes it so they can better communicate in those situations, too.”
With the nicer weather, spring is the perfect time to get out and enjoy a family hike, picnic, or outing together.
Plan a Family Vacation
By planning a summer adventure, parents and children alike have something exciting to look forward to, and that in itself can be a great motivator. According to a scientific study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, the effect of anticipating a vacation boosted happiness levels for eight weeks. With more than 1,500 individuals evaluated, the study concluded that happiness was higher in anticipation of travel than even after the trip. In fact, there was little difference found between vacationers’ and non-vacationers’ post-trip happiness. By planning the getaway together, family members can, therefore, find that extra incentive to accomplish all those not-so-fun, year-end tasks.
If all else fails, remember that you’ve almost made it! Summer is almost within reach…and look at all of the amazing things you accomplished this year!