Forget about the cookouts and fireworks this Fourth of July. Celebrate our nation’s birthday by channeling the rebellious spirit that compelled our forefathers to declare their independence from tyranny.

A “rebellious caregiver” may seem like a potentially dangerous combination, but there are actually quite a few opportunities for you to engage in safe yet satisfyingly seditious acts in your day-to-day life. Below are a few ideas to rebel against and help you channel your inner James Dean.

  • Your Diet: A nutritious diet plan is a great thing to have, but trying to stick to a regimented routine day in and day out can be extremely exhausting and may even increase your risk of falling off the health wagon altogether. Be a diet dissident by having a cupcake for breakfast or, if you’re going to an Independence Day party or cookout, go ahead and get that funnel cake and load up your plate with snacks.
    One day of indulgence is perfectly acceptable and may actually help you adhere to your diet. Research conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has indicated that splurging doesn’t have to completely wreck your diet. In fact, you could overeat by as much as 600 calories in one day without doing serious damage to your waistline. Your body has the natural ability to average out your caloric intake over time. So, if you eat too many calories one day, you’re likely to eat fewer calories the next day because you’ll be less hungry. The key to being able to indulge without gaining weight is to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet the majority of the time.
  • Your Style: Even if you have the time and energy to put together a polished outfit every day, such a routine can be a hassle. This Fourth, feel free to do away with the fancy duds and stay in your PJs or loungewear. If you have a party or cookout to attend, just make sure that your comfy threads are red, white and blue, and you’ll be good to go. Oddly enough, you and your loved one may actually be labeled as trendy for wearing your sleepwear while awake. Designer sweatpants, leggings, loungewear and athleisure ensembles have become increasingly popular outside of the gym.
  • Your Normal: Everyone has their “normal” mode of thinking, acting and perceiving the world around them, and caregivers are certainly no exception. Shake things up by making a pledge to break out of your routine for just one day. It doesn’t have to be a prolonged commitment—just try something different. For example, make a 24-hour pledge to try giving up on perfectionistic tendencies or stop apologizing for everything. Another good idea is to give yourself permission to experience the full spectrum of your emotions without feeling guilty about it. Think of it as an opportunity to try on a different pair of emotional shoes. You might find that they fit even better than your old ones.
  • The Man: No one is suggesting that you stage a sit-in or spray paint the sidewalk outside your house—there are more subtle ways you can stick it to “The Man.” For example, you could take your loved one to the movies this weekend and ignore the signs that say you’re not allowed to bring in any outside food. Just load up your largest purse with pre-purchased snacks. As a courtesy to your fellow moviegoers and an effective method to avoiding getting caught, unwrap your goodies beforehand and stick them in quieter packaging.

Whenever safely possible, try including your loved one in these refreshingly rebellious activities. It may seem strange, but banding together as two not-so-rowdy renegades may help strengthen the bond between you.

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