Planning My 2021 Summer Journey

Planning My 2021 Summer Journey

Summer is here, schools have finished and it’s time for a break from my Impact volunteering.

I’m feeling excited and ready for a break from routine, whilst looking forward to having time for me, lots of adventures, hopefully some sunshine and spending quality time outdoors with the kids. (This is what I’m telling myself but not necessarily feeling!)

Happy and grateful, is how I think I expected to feel right now and perhaps that’s what I think others expect me to feel too?

Not the case, because that is far from what I actually feel right now.

The truth is, I feel anxious about not having my normal structure and my reliable routine that school and Impact bring me.

I’m concerned that I will struggle to find a healthy balance in the daily routine for the kids and myself.

How am I going to entertain the kids for 6 weeks?! I fear the days will just roll into one, without me achieving anything and that I’ll feel guilty our life doesn’t look the same as ‘other peoples’ summer holidays on social media – the neighbours and colleagues with BBQs, holidays, days out, laughing, relaxing and achieving their summer goals. But what causes me the most fear is that I might have a blip in my mental health.

But! In writing all of the above and thinking about the ‘what if’s’, I am already aware of my thinking and emotions. So, I can now put things in place to challenge these thoughts/feelings around, and I start by going head-first into the Impact wellbeing toolbox for positive change!

First, I know I need to focus on me. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-care way because I know when I am mentally well, I am able to give more of myself to my loved ones.

Also, it’s not whole days I need to plan for myself, it’s 30 mins to an hour a day that I need to replenish, refuel and give myself the attention that I deserve.

The first tool I will be taking out of my toolbox is the Impact RAMPS.

I’ve been using it for a couple of years now, but like everything it can end up on the back burner, especially when we are doing okay.

Here’s what I plan to do!

  • My first task is to put pen to paper and plan my daily Impact RAMPS to help give me balance in my day’s, which in turn will help to create a healthy balance in the kids’ days.
  • Im going to take 5 minutes in the evening to plan the different activities for the following day. These activities need to be only for 5 or 10 minutes long, and some of them I would be doing anyway, but it’s making sure I’m hitting all of the RAMPS areas to bring a healthy balance to my day.
  • This summer I’m also going to try it out for the kids, what a great template to use for them. Summer days can easily pass them by on a games console or in front of the TV, and I’m sure there will be a couple of these days over the 6 weeks but it’s an important choice for me to plan a balanced structure for their day too.
  • Next, I plan on sitting down with the kids and deciding on something new we can learn together. I can just imagine what ideas are going to be suggested! Parasailing, Cliff Diving or Parkour LOL. Mind you, that might be for you and if it is, go for it! My thoughts are more, learn a language, begin learning to play an instrument, photography or nature trails. When we\they decide, wish me luck!
  • SMARTS is going to be my next tool. It’s going to be helpful in planning and breaking down exactly what we need to do step by step to achieve it. Whether that’s learning a sentence in another language or a few notes on an instrument, don’t get me wrong I’m not expecting to be bilingual or applying to be a part of an orchestra! But using SMARTS breaks down all the excuses that the Chimp might come up with and makes it achievable because I’ve decided what’s it’s going to be and I’ve planned all the steps I need to make. And if the chimp pops up and throws us off track we can evaluate and go back to the planning. I now actually looking forward to this summer holidays!

That’s my plan for the summer of 2021.

To be honest when I was asked to write something for the newsletter, I felt dread and fear. I don’t like putting pen to paper, publicly, although I can talk all day if required! LOL. But I am so glad that I did write this article.

Getting my feelings and fears out of my head and writing them down with my plans to face and overcome them, has made me feel so much better about the next six-weeks. This is something else Impact encourage their learners to try, as the science is there to back up journaling/planning and sharing our feelings/fears.

Writing or talking about them, gives our logical brain the time to kick in and look at the facts and not allow our Chimp to run with negative/unhelpful thinking and emotions that can sometimes tell us we are not good enough at… or, we are not able to do… or, we don’t deserve… or, we are not worthy of… 

So, with all that said, bring on the next 6 weeks and my Impact toolbox.

It’s not going to be perfect; nothing is! But it’s going to be me and the kids, structure, routine, fun, laughter, down days, and self-care, our way.

Life is a journey, and we can plan it, or not, just like our summer holidays and there will be ups and downs, and that’s ok. In facing our feelings and fears and being equipped with the Impact Wellbeing toolbox, we can learn to be in the driver’s seat of our journey rather than feeling like we are being dragged along.

I’m planning my 2021 summer journey to make sure the kids and I get the best we can out of the next 6 weeks, and I’m relaxed, rested and ready for Impact’s Autumn Term!

Elaine Pestell – Impact Volunteer

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