THIS SUMMER, DON'T DO ALL THE THINGS
Around this time of year we like to joke around the Families of Character office that we have to come back to work to get a vacation. In the warm summer months, we sometimes notice ourselves appreciating a Monday morning routine more than our overly packed weekend schedules that leave us anything but recharged.
It’s undeniable that our calendars get a little more booked during the summertime. Vacations, BBQ’s, weddings, showers, and pool time demand our attention leaving us overly stimulated and distracted.
When it starts to feel like too much, we don’t have to shame ourselves into doing it all. Even the most extroverted personalities need some down time. Instead we can use virtue to alleviate the guilt. Character calls us to be the best for others, and sometimes staying at home and resting is actually what is best for others. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but we can’t be the best version of ourselves on low batteries.
The virtue that allows us to set these healthy boundaries is called Assertiveness. It can be difficult to say “no” to fun activities because sometimes we just really want to go. Also, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by not showing up. However, Assertiveness can help us out if we need to take a break to sit on the sidelines:
Assertiveness honors others. Like I said before, it can sound backwards to think that not showing up for someone is what’s best for him or her sometimes. Think about it, though. If you are burned out and tired around them, you might do more damage than good for the relationship. Sometimes it’s best to postpone until our best selves are back to life again.
Assertiveness builds self-respect. Setting boundaries in our social lives builds up self-awareness of when enough is enough. And this is perfectly healthy. When we respect ourselves enough to know these limits, we become more positive and confident enough to think for ourselves.
Assertiveness is firm, not overbearing. Assertiveness does not get to the point of aggression. It just helps us recognize our own needs and gets those needs met in a healthy fashion. There is nothing wrong with drawing a line in the sand, as long as it’s done with some kindness.
Summer shouldn’t be exhausting; it should be magical. Being intentional with our time and energy will help us make the most of this season and show our kids that they should do the same.
From all of us at Families of Character, we hope you are having a great summer!
Stephanie is Families of Character's Creative Director and most senior employee! Beyond Stephanie's creative talents, her years of research and dedication at the company have forged Stephanie's foundation as an expert in character development.