Benefits of Downtime

We live in a 24/7 world of doing, constantly on the move.  We spend our days working, managing households, driving to after school activities, and keeping up with friends and family.  When combined with technology, like smartphones, laptops, and internet connections, it’s almost impossible to escape from our never-ending “to do” lists and responsibilities.  Our brains are constantly managing the steady stream of information and conversation that comes at us from all directions.  This continuous barrage of information can leave us exhausted, forgetful, and less productive.

And it’s not just the adults whose work and social schedules are jam packed.  Children and teenagers have become busier than ever.  Kids spend endless hours learning, practicing, and plugged into social media, with less time to sleep, relax and just be kids.  Their brains are constantly working overtime to absorb and process social situations, information and observations.  Kids need time to relax, unwind, and use their imagination.

Finding the time to disconnect from our busy schedules and devices can be quite challenging, but it is vital in order for us to stay connected to one another and ourselves.   Thankfully, we have holiday breaks and vacations, so we can take a breather from our daily schedules.  Staying at home to sleep in and unwind, or flying somewhere to soak up the sun, gives us the much-needed time to relax with family and friends, and improve our productivity, creativity and overall wellness.  But even better than holidays and vacations during the school year is time spent at Summer Camp!

Kids who go to summer camp are probably the luckiest when it comes to experiencing much needed downtime.  Campers get 3 to 6 weeks to step away from school work, extra-curricular activities, and screen time, to connect with friends and take a breather from their regular routines.  Kids need downtime to play and be creative, and that is what camp provides.  Though the camp day is filled with structured activities to learn and enjoy, these activities take place in a relaxed, supportive environment where kids feel they can slow down, recharge and enjoy the moment without stress or pressure.

Unstructured time, like Rest Hour gives campers the time to unwind, talk with friends, write letters home, play card games, and even make up an impromptu dance.  Camp is the perfect setting for downtime from a non-stop, often over-scheduled school year.  It’s a time for kids to discover and explore new interests, spend time outdoors, be free to make independent choices, and enjoy much needed unplugged time.  Camp gives kids time to slow down, relax, and just be kids.

The camp season may be months away, but hopefully the upcoming Winter and Spring school vacations give you and your family some quality downtime.  Set aside ti

me to “do nothing”!  Disconnect for a while, go for a walk, meditate, take a nap, anything that allows you to unwind, relax and recharge.