Even though events and activities have been canceled this summer, I can still say we have been able to keep very busy. Quite honestly, it is my favorite kind of busy. It’s evenings and weekends full of planned activities with my family.
We are getting to do all of the things I feel like we miss out on when we have every weekend and multiple nights per week packed with events and obligations. The key is creating a plan and sticking to it. Below are a few things that I have done this summer to keep my mental health in tip top shape and help you make your own summer plans.
How I've Been Staying Active for Myself
- Solo bike rides once per week--this is a no-nonsense goal. It even means getting a babysitter if my husband can't stay home with the kids.
- Lunchtime HIIT workouts--Like this. 20 minutes from start to finish!
How I've Been Staying Active With My Kids
- Bandaid Tag--a family favorite!
- Dino Hunts, Safari's, Scavenger Hunts--Get your imagination rolling, go out for a walk and search for things that look like dinosaurs, or wild jungle animals, or have a list of things you can find in your neighborhood.
- Outdoor Chutes and Ladders
One way I’ve been social
I Threw an Easy Peasy Physically Distanced Party
My youngest son turned one this summer (insert a subtle sob in your imagination here). We were able to throw a little party for him with the recommendations of the local health department in mind. We held it outside in our backyard, served walking tacos, fruit and veggie cups for the meal and had cupcakes for dessert. Everyone brought their own chair. The kids were occupied while playing in a sprinkler.
I’m definitely going to do this again for our future parties, even when the threat of Covid-19 isn’t as high (I’m choosing to be optimistic), for two reasons.
One, it was the easiest birthday party I have ever thrown in terms of prepping, clean-up, and the amount of tasks I needed to do as a party host during the actual party. I got to visit with my family and got to enjoy watching my son dive into his smash cake.
Two, it was the cheapest birthday party I have ever thrown!
I prepped the food the night before by cooking up taco meat and fajita veggies. I put them into crock pots and just put the crock pots in the fridge until I was ready to start heating them up on party day. All while being careful to wash my hands appropriately and as often as necessary.
The next day during nap time right before the party. I portioned out all of the fruits and veggies, and ingredients for the walking tacos (meat, veggies, lettuce, onions, salsa, cheese, sour cream) in individual serving cups. You would have thought this would take a long time, but it didn’t at all! I’ll be honest, I did have the help of my mom and sister, but I could have easily done it myself. The best part is, outside of the three of us prepping the food (with washed hands) nobody had to touch any utensils outside of what they were using to eat! I’d have to say the only down side was that all of the plastic serving cups used aren’t great for the environment, so I may try and find an alternative next time.
Also, if you must know I ordered the cupcakes from a bakery. We all have our strengths and baking is not one of mine. The cost for the cupcakes were five dollars more than I would have spent on ingredients to make them myself. I felt like the time I saved, and amount of stress I avoided by trying to make them delicious and beautiful was well worth the five extra dollars.
One Thing I Cooked
Walking Tacos with Homemade Taco Seasoning
Fajita Veggies (for the Walking Tacos):
2 Yellow, Orange, or Red Bell Peppers – Sliced
½ Yellow onion – Sliced
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Sweet Corn
½ Can Black Beans
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp ground Cumin
¼ tsp salt
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté the peppers and onions until tender. Mix in the sweet corn and black beans and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with lime juice, cumin, and salt.
One Thing I Read
The 11th Habit – Design your Company Culture to Foster the Habits of High Performance
Your lifestyle habits effect your performance in every aspect of your life. This book gives you insights on ways to build your company culture that makes it “easy and natural for employees to care for themselves and perform at the highest level.” This is a great, quick read for anyone who is interested in improving or maintaining their company culture or anyone who needs some leverage in persuading leadership to adopt a wellness program.