Summertime aHigh Flying Kite June 2015 Gas Works Park.jpgcroppednd the livin is easy. The lyrics of the popular George Gershwin song may not hold true for many of us parents of kids with emotional and behavioral challenges. Still the season offers a wealth of opportunities to refresh, refuel, and even relax a bit! Time to get outdoors, let the warm of the sun melt away your tension and put a smile on your face! These photos show what we’ve been up to so far this summer.
Daylight breaks earlier and lasts longer, during the summer months, giving us more time to walk along a peaceful nature path or sit under a shady tree in the park and listen to the birds sing. There are community fairs and free concerts, picnics and neighborhood barbeques. Make plans for at least one summer outing that you can enjoy – as ‘me time’ or as an adventure for the whole family.
Spending time in nature is good for our mental and physical wellbeing. Fresh air and natural scenery can improve quality of life for us and our kids. Dr. Susanne Preston, a Clinical Mental Health Counseling instructor at South University, Virginia Beach says, “The fresh air and sunlight have the largest benefit.” According to Dr. Preston, “With increased exposure to natural sunlight, incidents of seasonal affective disorder decrease. When individuals are exposed to natural sunlight, the vitamin D in their skin helps to elevate their moods.”
“Research has shown that spending time in nature has been associated with decreased levels of mental illness, with the strongest links to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, in addition to increased self-esteem,” Preston says.
Preston recommends outdoor activities like taking walks around the park or neighborhood, yoga, and meditation as healthy, relaxing ways to get some fresh air.
Kite aloft at Gas Works.jpgcroppedI welcome you all to come outside and join us this summer! On Sunday, July 26th, from 11:00am to 2:00pm, we’ll be in Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, in Seattle for the Annual Picnic of the Families, Partners in Health, Professionals Networks of Support. If you’ve never come out to this free afternoon of family fun, you’ve missed having a great time! There will be face painting, arts and crafts, a water play area, music, performances and games plus free hotdogs, burgers, beverages and chips. Adding to the enticement are the wonderful potluck dishes everyone brings to share.
You’re also welcome to join us on Saturday, August 22nd, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, in Renton’s Kiwanis Park, 815 Union Ave. NE, for our Guided Pathways Family Play Day. The focus of the afternoon is fun – bubbles, hula hoop contests, coloring, bean bag toss and other games that are always best enjoyed on a sunny expanse of green, green grass. There’ll be snacks, treats and prizes too!
We’re looking forward to seeing you!