Summer brings demands on time

NANAIMO - Families should schedule "down time" to avoid the hectic pace of summer.

For some of us, summer means more leisure and vacation time. But when you’re juggling work, parenting and elder-care responsibilities, the season of vacation and warm weather can bring increased demands on your time.

It’s important to find strategies to help balance work and family priorities, and to find time for yourself. A little planning can go a long way in making summer easier for everyone.

Get organized

Create a family calendar and post it where it can be easily seen. Include activities, holidays, camp or child care details, chores, celebrations and family projects.

Make an abbreviated version of the calendar for your older relatives, so they feel included in the summer planning.

Get help

Involve the entire family in scheduling and sharing chores, so that home and outside activities or vacations are fun for everyone.

Be realistic – don’t plan to spend weekends driving from one child’s activity to another, or doing chores. Scheduling time to relax is important. Set a practical schedule that allows time for you and your partner or close friends to be alone.

Make sure your schedule allows for “down time” for every member of the family.

Get healthy

Build exercise into your personal and family schedules. Jog, walk, bike, rollerblade or hike.

Resolve to make this the summer you all learn to eat a healthier diet.

In the time crunch of today’s fast-paced world, it can be especially difficult for parents and families to maintain balance-and their sanity. Fortunately though, with a little planning, and some help from those you’re close to, it’s possible to get through it in one piece.