Summer is here for all of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It feels so good to be outside, the sun beating down on you, and just the more laid back feeling that comes with this season. Maybe it doesn’t feel so laid back for you, but for me, I like my summer to be lighter.
I want to feel free in my days. Having kids has undoubtedly made it more challenging to be free. I believe the structure is necessary so that kids feel secure and, to be honest, it helps me a lot too. But in the summer, I want to sit back and lounge, plan adventures with family and friends and bbq often. It can be challenging to be in this place of ease, to let go of control and surrender. I wanted to share with you some of my tips for letting go of control to help you ease into the summer as well.
Create quiet time in your day. Do you get so busy that you rarely have a moment to sit? I know I catch myself at times going into the evening, like 9 pm and realizing I have not sat ALL day. Incorporating a break, a slow down in the day can help you feel refreshed and less tense—and less likely to feel the need to control. I now wear a watch that reminds me to breathe, move or even stand at times during the day. You could do this in your phone calendar and have reminders pop up.
Build in a summer schedule for yourself or your family and follow that schedule but be flexible with it. This may sound paradoxical, but if you set yourself a rhythm in the day, it is easy to keep things flowing. So, if you have your structure, the overall picture of how the day/week goes, you can move things around and still feel accomplished. If something changes, move things around!
Be open to opportunities. Listen for the invitations to try something different, a new adventure, maybe a new food or restaurant. Look for opportunities to connect with others maybe with a gathering or attending an event.
Break down the fear. Control is rooted in fear and fear can keep you stuck, so work on limiting any fear-based thoughts. First, write down what the concern is behind whatever you are trying to control. For example, keeping the countertops clean and clear in your home, when you have multiple family members. Maybe the fear is that if you don’t, you have failed at life, parenting, or whatever it is for you. Next, challenge yourself by asking the question, Is this true? Would having cluttered countertops mean you have failed at life, or that there are five of you and everyone has their own mind about what needs to be on the countertops?
Set boundaries around the problem. Who are you trying to control in the situation? If it is another person, you will be unsuccessful or drive yourself crazy trying. Decide who’s problem, is it? If it is yours, come up with options for how to deal with your issue. Consult the most non-biased person you can find and explore multiple options so that you know you have choices.
Let it be. Accepting things as they are, and building in trust that things will work out. Living in this place of uncertainty may not be easy, especially if certainty is one of your top needs; however, having faith is vital to doing so. Find ways to keep you optimistic about life, listen to inspirational books, shows, videos, etc. Read inspirational material. Use daily affirmations. There are many ways to keep yourself lifted and building faith.
Pay attention to your body and emotions. Are you needing a break? If this is the case, take time off. The benefits will far outweigh the cost of the building pressure. You may need to ask for help and put things in place to make it happen (i.e., a babysitter, vacation fund, ask for time-off). You do not have to do things alone, so gather up those who can support you and request their support. Then happily accept their help.
Letting go of control can be something that you work through each time it comes up. When you notice it happening for you, try some of these tips to help ease the tension and build in flexibility. It will happen less and less for you.