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a charge...unstructured time

For many of us, this summer has felt full.

As we shifted back to gathering with friends, traveling without quarantining, and celebrating a year's worth of weddings, other celebrations, and more–our calendars are filled up.

As we look to the school year ahead, and what we hope to be a return to "normal,” the last few weeks have had us thinking about the need to schedule time for doing...well...nothing.

In his recent New York Times opinion piece, Shalini Shankar shares his belief that we "should not simply return children to their hectic pre-pandemic schedules,” instead he proposes that we should "teach them the value of unstructured time.”

Time without an agenda offers us space to relax, play, create, use our imagination, and be spontaneous. An unscheduled day or even hour can help us to reduce stress and return refreshed to the other areas of our lives.

For teens facing pressures from school, work, family, extracurriculars, and the future–unstructured time can be even more important. As adults, we can support the young people in our lives by setting aside our own unstructured time–even if it’s just an evening after work, or a few hours on Saturday–if we take the time to leave some gaps in our own schedules, we are not only tending to our own well-being, but perhaps more importantly, modeling the value of spontaneity for young people in our lives.

So why not join us by blocking out some unstructured time this month? Even an hour can give us a much-deserved spring in our step

We dare ya!


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