Wilton schools are officially on summer break! But do we really take a ‘break’ in summer anymore?

Traditionally, summer was a time for kids and their parents to relax and enjoy some unstructured days – a chance to decompress, have fun and play. But thanks to the ubiquity of personal technology, as well as the increasing number of scheduled summer activities, the summer can feel an awful lot like the hectic, plugged-in school year for some families.

Aaron Krasner, MD, adolescent transitional living service chief at Silver Hill Hospital, says parents should try to embrace the idea of summer as a time to focus on the simple things and making memories together.

“At the end of a great summer, you should have some great memories to look back on that you’ve made together as a family,” Krasner says. “And those memories don’t have to be about expensive vacations, they can be wonderful thoughts about playing catch, a picnic at the park or a laugh-filled family barbecue. Those opportunities happen when we step back from our phones and our laptops and embrace the down time.”

Krasner also says the summer is a good time for adults to spend some time alone, take a break from their 24/7 work stress and spend some time in their own thoughts. “The idea of falling asleep in a hammock with a good book in your hand may seem old-fashioned, but it doesn’t have to be. Spending some mindful time alone on a beautiful summer day is good for everyone. Sometimes we forget how to be alone and at peace with ourselves and our thoughts.”

This summer, you might want to give meditation a try to help you relax. During meditation, you work towards staying focused on the present moment. The goal is to become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and your surroundings. It can be challenging to figure out how to begin a meditation practice, so guided meditation is a good way to start. Adults and kids alike can benefit from meditating.

Krasner adds that, ultimately, parents and kids alike will be more productive in the fall when school and regular business hours start up again if they have had a relaxing and joyful summer to look back on.