Like all of you, we’ve had to plan this summer more meticulously than ever in order to operate safely and follow best practices. We’ve had to re-work many aspects of summer that we never thought twice about before – but there’s one aspect of daily life at camp we didn’t revisit. What can we rework to be better at getting rest?  The author and poet David Whyte describes rest as “the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be.” With all the changes and creative solutions in place for this summer, now could be the time to revisit summer self-care habits too:  

1.Create a daily ritual – You could try setting your alarm 15-20 minutes earlier and doing something for yourself to start the day. Read a chapter of your book, journal, exercise, drink tea on the porch, meditate – anything that makes you feel happy to start the day on a good note. 

2.Plan your day the night before so you can set aside time during each day to recharge – is there a lull in the day where you can schedule a quick break? 

3.Potentially rearrange daily meeting times – Maybe the early morning meeting can be rescheduled to happen during a meal, or the late night debrief can happen after dinner. You could also revisit whether a meeting in person is necessary.

4.Clean and organize your sleeping space, and make sure it is a comfortable temperature. Don’t forget to remove any distractions or screens from the bedroom, so you can wind down and sleep easily when it’s time. 

5.Create a culture of gratitude where fellow staff recognize each other for their hard work – sometimes a tough task feels infinitely more difficult if you don’t feel appreciated for doing it. A little gratitude goes a long way in preventing burnout feelings. 

6.Arguably the toughest one – set boundaries and don’t glorify “busy culture.” Yes, days at camp will naturally have long hours. But it’s ok to say no to some tasks in order to be fully present for others! Don’t fill your down time with less-than-critical work. It’s not necessary to be in a constant state of “busyness” in order to be a productive and hard-working member of the team.

In an industry where your job is your lifestyle, it can be hard to take breaks and prioritize rest, especially in the summer! In his book Consolations, David Whyte says, “To rest is not self-indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given.”   

Annie Ramsbotham 

Falling Creek Camp