Can You Be a Kid Again in the Summer?

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Do you remember that feeling of anticipation when the summer season started, and you felt energized, hopeful and carefree?

There is no reason why adults of any age can’t experience similar feelings like they did when they were kids in the summer.  

It is time for you to adopt a new mantra in your life this summer: It’s time to be a kid again!

You may think that this is an impossible commitment or that you need to adopt a different mantra. Instead, make it part of your daily routine and say it to yourself each day.

Well, where do you start? You could jot down the types of activities that made you happy when you were young. They may include sitting outside on a sunny day, wearing shoes without socks or eating a summer snack. Keep in mind that while kids may not be diligent about being hydrated, this is important for everyone during the summer. Wearing sunscreen is important as well.

If you need a little inspiration, you could simply ask a kid or young person for suggestions of activities that they enjoy during the summer months. You may be surprised by their answers because, as the phrase says, “kids say the darndest things.” A response that you may hear from a young person is that they look forward to “doing nothing or just chilling.”

That is not easy for many adults, since our society is goal- or activity-oriented at all times of our lives. Even our vacations, weekends or free time may often be scheduled and planned in advance. Young people may not actually “do anything,” but at the same time it is more than possible that advanced planning is not part of their thought process.

Why not take a day this summer and be a kid while trying to be as carefree as possible and not plan your day. You may be surprised that observing nature, reading a good book, calling a friend or having your favorite food may actually be enjoyable.  

As your survey continues, another response that you may receive from a kid is that they like eating ice cream, water ice, swimming or wearing cool sunglasses. Don’t worry if your diet prohibits certain foods, since there are alternatives that you can consider. If you have a restrictive diet then look into alternative food products, including certain fruits or a cold and healthy dessert that may satisfy your inner child. One young respondent stated that she looks forward to having ice cubes, both flavored and unflavored.

Also, swimming is often considered to be a healthy and safe sport to help increase endurance, mobility and promote a heart healthy life. If going for a full dip isn’t your thing, there is nothing wrong with just putting your feet in a pool.  

You may hear a common response from a kid that he looks forward to “going to a shore spot.” You may immediately think that isn’t possible due to physical, economic or transportation constraints. Most things can be achieved with modifications. If driving long distances are difficult, look into alternative forms of transportation. If your budget is tight, consider participating in a home picnic or barbeque.

Don’t spend the entire summer inside. There are many ways to catch a ray without getting overheated.  

Summer can be a time for you to reminisce about your childhood while developing and incorporating new activities. Try to incorporate the recommended mantra into your life.

You may surprise yourself about the many ways that you can enjoy the summer months. Before you know it, you will feel like a kid again!

Marcy Shoemaker, Psy.D, is a psychologist at Abramson Center.

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