It’s August – and inevitably, our minds start thinking about “Back to School.”
In between taking advantage of the last weeks of summer, we begin thinking about returning to rhythm and schedule of the school year – often with a combination of excitement, and dread. While so many of us find it much easier to manage our busy lives with the routine of the school year, we also often find ourselves overscheduled once school is back in session.
But, you can take steps now to make the transition less stressful.
Stay organized: Nothing relieves morning stress like knowing where everyone’s shoes, library books, homework, etc. are. You and your children can work together to come up with an organization system that will work.
Rest and nutrition: Make sure you – and your children – get plenty of rest and eat well. We are all less irritable when we are well-rested and well-fed, and definitely more able to respond to stressful situations in a balanced way.
Schedule down time: Make sure that your family has time every week – 2 days or 2 hours – where there is nothing scheduled. This is a time for adults and kids in the family to connect – take a walk, share stories, talk about what is going on in each other’s lives. These moments are relationship building and provide much-needed stress relief for adults and children.
Relaxation techniques: Take the time every day to sit still and concentrate on your breathing. Or practice yoga or meditation techniques. Bring these practices to your children, and teach them how to use them to counteract stress. These will be invaluable skills as they grow older.
Back to school doesn’t need to be stressful – and teaching kids the skills to manage and mitigate anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed can benefit them for the rest of their lives. Make this the year your family embraces a mindful and measured approach.