Why is self-care so hard in the summer when you are a therapist and a mom? 

We all go into summer thinking “Ahh, a break!” We picture ourselves relaxing by the pool while our kids happily splash around and we sip iced tea. It will be a luxurious break from the tyranny of the school year and we will finally have time for the self-care we know we deserve. 

Unfortunately, it rarely turns out that way. You may even find that you feel even MORE exhausted in the summer and you are counting down the days until school starts back up! 

Here are 5 reasons why it can be even harder to prioritize your self-care in the summertime.

  1. Your routine has been turned completely upside down. While the school year has its own challenges, you get into a groove with the routine. There are set wake-up times and bad times, you have a reasonable plan for how to get dinner on the table even when things are hectic, and the days fall into a familiar rhythm. In the summertime, all of that goes out the window! Unfortunately, most therapists don’t get summers off, so unless you are on vacation, you are still seeing clients. 
  1. Not only is your schedule completely out of whack, but your clients’ schedule is out of whack too! Especially if you happen to work with parents. So the appointment times that used to work for them may not work anymore. Fortunately, teletherapy has made this a lot easier, but you might find that summertime teletherapy feels an awful lot like the early stages of the pandemic, with kids knocking on doors and yelling from downstairs that the PlayStation won’t turn on. Sessions can be tricky for both therapist and client!
  1. Your childcare situation is total chaos. During the school year, you had figured out a situation that worked for you and your family. Some combination of childcare, school, and creative scheduling kept your family on track and ensured that your kids were safe. Of course, there is always the occasional wrench when the kids get sick or school is closed for a snow day or another calamity. In the summer though, it can be hard to ever get into a routine at all. 
  1. The dreaded summer slow down. For many therapists, summertime can mean a lull in the schedule. I learned years ago that the week of the Fourth of July is probably my slowest week of the whole year. When I did schedule clients, they would cancel. So now I either take that week off or make it very very light. While this lighter workload seems like it would be a recipe for great self-care, it can create stress in other ways. If you are in private practice, you may stress about the drop in referrals or the number of client cancellations. You may find that you have to focus more attention on marketing and networking to bring in new clients.
  1. Vacation! Wait? What? I see you giving me that side-eye, like wait just a second Michelle. How in the heck does vacation make it harder to take care of yourself? But if you are a mom, you know! Vacation with kids, especially small ones can feel like it’s not really a vacation. It’s just parenting in a different place. Whatever system you figured out at home for prioritizing your self-care goes completely out the window when you’re stuck in a beach condo with toddlers while it rains all week. Know what I mean? You have to get really creative about what your self-care looks like.

Summertime self-care can be a challenge. But with some help and some planning, it IS possible to get the summertime re-charge you need! 

How? Join the free 5-day summertime self-care challenge HERE. If you are a mom who works as a therapist or a helping professional, this is for you. 

Each day, I will teach you a new strategy for building self-care into your day and cover one of the pillars of self-care. As an added bonus, you’ll get the big list of summertime self-care ideas. 

I’m going to help you think of self-care differently, and build it into your busy life so that summertime can be a time of renewal and recharging. 

See you in there!

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