Summer Bucket List and Slowing Down
In this month’s, Encouragement of the Month post, we’re sharing thoughts on slowing down, summer bucket list ideas, and gently reminding you of the importance of filling your cup this season.
Let me ask you a serious question – when was the last time you did something for yourself?
Something just for you.
Has it been a while?
It has for me too.
I think sometimes as women we often struggle with making our own needs a priority.
I don’t want to speak for you but in my own circle I see so many fantastic ladies running around like Super Woman trying to make sure their homes are a place of comfort, their families are well taken care of, and their work-life is top-notch all while trying to balance the demands life places on them with grace.
I know for us, it’s been an incredibly busy season and as we slowly start the re-entry process of post-pandemic life, I know it has been for a lot of you too.
While we’ve really enjoyed the activities we’ve been blessed to participate in, I find myself still trying to do all the things and please all the people because I feel like I need to make up for the lost time.
I don’t think second chances are supposed to feel that way though.
Sometimes that “all or nothing,” mentality is a road that leads straight back to burnout.
Recently, things came to a head when I found myself unable to make what felt like a very basic decision.
Despite being up against a deadline and having all the necessary information and inspiration in front of me, I just felt totally and completely stuck.
The next day, I found myself trying to put the coffee creamer away in the laundry room instead of the kitchen.
Over and over again, our bodies are giving us little signs and clues to slow down.
Signs I’ve noticed in myself are when my brain feels foggy and cluttered, my emotions run higher than usual, my temper gets a little short, my tone sounds a bit curt, and trying to make basic decisions leaves me feeling silly from all the angst instead of confident and empowered.
You may have noticed similar signs to these and perhaps even others in your life lately too.
While it might seem like the tiniest things can “set us off” or “throw us in a tailspin,” the truth is that there have been both small and big things quietly building up under the surface all along.
We just haven’t taken the time to address them yet.
Pressure is weird that way, you know?
It can make us feel like we have to do it all right. this. minute.
Especially when we see hustle culture glorified on social media almost daily.
It’s not because we can’t handle the tasks at hand, WE CAN!
It’s because we haven’t taken the time to fill up our cup and do the life-giving things we know will make a difference along the way.
And instead of coming from a place of abundant joy knowing we’re confident women who work daily to make our homes and communities better, we come from a place of near collapse because we’ve stretched ourselves too thin.
So, as we fill our calendars with summer bucket list activities and memory-making adventures or embrace a back to basics summer slow down, I want us to think about what we *really need* this season.
Do you need a season of sacred rest or to finally step out in faith to pursue something new?
Is this a season of truly connecting with others or do you need to put a few opportunities on the back burner so you can invest in some soul searching?
Do you need to finally embrace Plan B, G, M, or T where your job, your relationships, your home life, or your goals are concerned?
Is this a season of harvest or do you need to make tending and cultivating your garden be it physical, spiritual, or emotional a priority this season?
The month of June always feels like the month of January to me because there are so many things about May and December that can completely derail our schedules, our daily routines, goal-setting efforts, and commitments.
If you’ve felt off-track, unmotivated, without inspiration, or not like yourself in general, now is a great time to reevaluate what is truly important to you and to give those areas of your life some much-needed attention.
Even if that means talking to your doctor and finding a fabulous therapist.
I’m not going to lie, there are times it will feel hard.
You might have to say “no” to one thing so you can say “yes” to something else.
There’s a chance you might have to wake up early or stay up late to get whatever you need to get done – done.
You might have to rework your calendar, hire a babysitter, or ask for help from family and friends.
You might feel like you’re missing out for the sake of your cultivating your dream.
There also might be a time when you’ve been courageous enough to accept an invitation to rest when crafting, choosing soft sheets, taking an afternoon hike, or “doing nothing” feels like a “waste of time.”
Do them anyway.
Not because you’re trying to be a rebel.
But because deep down, you know you’re worth the time and effort it takes to make the life of your dreams (whatever that might look like) a reality.
If you’re struggling with exhaustion and analysis paralysis like me, I hope you’ll give yourself permission to completely pivot with the gift of a slow summer.
A summer to fill your cup with the things that not only matter for this season but have the power to impact and sustain you for seasons to come.
A Few Slow Summer Bucket List Ideas to Consider…
- Treat yourself.
- Invest in books, a class, a job coach, mentor, or licensed counselor.
- Host an old-fashioned slumber party.
- Plan a road trip.
- Have a relaxing brunch with your girlfriends.
- Make homemade ice cream, popsicles, or sun tea.
- Attend a baseball game.
- Go on a bike ride.
- Create a new playlist.
- Watch the sunrise.
- Host family game night.
- Pick berries or peaches.
- Be a tourist in your own city.
- Go treasure hunting.
- Paint, sew, or craft something.
- Camp under the stars.
- Plant a garden.
- Wear a sundress to dinner.
- Try something new.
- Swim in the ocean.
- Eat off vintage china.
- Make power naps non-negotiable.
- Fly a flag.
- Mail a postcard.
- Sit in silence and listen to the rain.
- Make a bonfire.
- Watch a movie outdoors.
- Eat pie.
- Make a meal from the farmer’s market.
- Visit a museum.
- Say what you need out loud.
- Sleep in.
- Hike a new trail.
What’s on your summer bucket list?Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Other Encouragement of the Month Posts to Enjoy:
Thoughts on Cultivating Courage
CoCo – this is a fabulous and timely post! Typically we are each spread so thin you can see through our skin – no exaggeration. Times have been difficult this year, but we grab our moments when we can – like this past weekend. Sometimes that still isn’t enough. All we heard when you mentioned “filling up your cup this season” was “Red solo cup…I fill you up. Let’s have a party!” LOL We all really do need to slow down, do less and enjoy the lazy days of summer. Hugs and love to you and S. Hoping she has an easy surgery and recovery.
Yes, yes, yes! Fill your red solo cup, your hans solo cup, your buttercup – we say do whatever is needed to slow down and enjoy this summer season. I can hardly believe the year is almost half way over. We need to soak up as many adventures as we can – even if they’re make quiet time a priority. Thanks so much for your love and well wishes on the surgery and recovery, CoCo
Oh, CoCo, you are truly the sweetest! I so wish I could have a day to just sit with you on that peaceful porch and talk, and laugh, and maybe even shed a few tears – and love on those pups of yours! My thoughts and prayers will be with you and “S” today and during her recovery. I know she will be well taken care of by her “bestie”! Just remember your own words and take care of yourself, too. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement – big life changes going on in our household – projects to get done – and a dream or two to act on! 🙂
Oh my gosh, Patty, talk about a dream come true! We would have the best time hanging out. Thanks so much for your kind words, they speak to my heart all the time. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers on S’s surgery and recovery as well. I can’t wait to hear about the big changes you guys have coming up and all the dream projects you have planned. It’s such an exciting time when all the pieces start falling into place. Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo
It certainly is an adjustment to going about things more normally and learning how to find a new balance in it all. All of your gorgeous beach photos in this post were so wonderful to scroll through. I felt calmed and relaxed just looking at them.
You’re sweet to say that, Heidi, thank you! Being at the beach is one of my favorite places to be and I’m so thankful my parents let us come back each summer no matter how crazy busy things got with their schedules. Like you say, it’s the best way to relax and unwind. Hugs, CoCo
You are a star!
Very well written and vocalised post I have read today and needed to hear to fill that cup. I sat down in the car after I dropped my girls off to school for good few hours and called a old friend. It pepped me up.
I wish a speedy recovery to ‘S” and with your positivity around, the field is already set for hope and joy soon. Enjoy your cup too!
Thank you so much for your sweet and thoughtful words, Hasin, I really appreciate it. I love that you took the time to call an old friend and reconnect. It’s so important! I’m definitely looking forward to slowing down and easing from one season to the next. I swear the hustle and bustle of the holidays will be here before we know it. I’m shocked at how quickly the year has passed already. Sending you hugs for a peace-filled summer and a cup filled with all good things, CoCo
Such a moving post. You pull at my heart.
I was just thinking yesterday I need to slow down a bit. I have commitments but after that I will fill up my cup.
I hope S does well and you’re all in my prayers.
I appreciate your sweet words so much, Cindy, thank you! It’s so hard to slow down sometimes but I’m realizing it’s absolutely vital to our health and well-being. I’m definitely excited you’ll be taking time off soon too. The fall and holiday season will be here before we know it! Hugs, CoCo
I don’t know what age bracket you fall under but what you described about yourself this last little while could easily describe a woman’s experience with menopause. Brain fog and no motivation and irritability and anxiety or restlessness. They are all things that come during the time leading up to menopause. I love your advice to women of all ages to assess our stress levels and make changes. Just wanted to share that sometimes our bodies and more specifically our hormones can play havoc with us and understanding this lets us give ourselves grace. Love your posts!
Thank you so much for bringing this up, Holly, I really appreciate it! I’ll definitely talk to my doctor more about this and several people have suggested I have my thyroid checked too. While I know they are not the sole cause of the problem (our workdays are usually around 12-14 hours and we find ourselves working on the weekends at times too) I know physical health and mental health go hand in hand. I’m grateful to be part of a community of women who are willing to speak up and help each other out. I hope your weekend is a grace-filled and happy one, CoCo
Such a lovely post. But what do you do when you are alone, like fourteen months of solitary confinement? With no one at all? Not a single soul?
Millions of people around the world have gone through a similar experience with lockdown restrictions due to Covid, Laura, so please know you are not alone. While I don’t have any first-hand experience, several of my friends that have gone through it said exploring new hobbies, being part of positive online communities, doing zoom and face times calls with family and friends, having a pet companion, talking to a trusted therapist, and keeping a solid daily routine helped them get through it. Several started creating vision boards of places they wanted to travel to have something to look forward to and now that they are vaccinated are starting to make those dreams a reality. There is no doubt this whole experience changed them in ways they never thought possible and while it has not been easy you should definitely look for ways to celebrate surviving such a difficult experience. Always remember, you matter!
I feel like you wrote this for me CoCo. I loved this and am trying to figure out what life looks like for me right now. I would love to share this on my weekly wrap-up tomorrow. You are such a blessing.
CoCo, your post is timely and I linked to it from Kim, at Shiplap and Shells. Not sure why I am not getting your emails, but I need to double check my subscriber status. I’ve been thinking about how I can make this summer something special and SIMPLE. I love all your comments and may use it for my next Saturday Meanderings post..if that is ok with you. A lot has been going on in life that I have no control over so it is time to slow down, take a breath, and find joy. Thank you for sharing such a meaningful post.