Back To School Tips
Summer break is almost over — those seemingly endless sunny days filled with beach trips, cook-outs, and playful outdoor activities are coming to a close. Soon days will be filled with regimented schedules, homework, soccer practice and more, which can feel like an unsettling, sudden change from previous carefree days.
The contrast in routine and pace of life can sometimes feel harsh — switching overnight from the relaxed vacay vibes of waking up without an alarm, to early mornings, meal prep, and rallying the kids out the door — can be challenging and stressful for everyone involved. Thankfully, there are ways to flip this into a time of positive change and excitement. You can help prepare for a calm transition into school-mode with this simple 3-point approach to gain a sense of calm and composure.
#1: Look Ahead
Summer eases into Fall, then quickly transitions to Winter, and before you know it the Holiday season is upon us. Days can fly by quickly and it is easy to become overwhelmed if you are not properly prepared for change. Before school ramps up for the kids, and while you still have some “me” time, look ahead into your schedule for the next few months and jot down key dates and events. Start by documenting things like planned visits from family, birthdays, and weekend trips; add in work commitments including travel, and important projects or deadlines; then incorporate child-minding dates like the big soccer game, a school play, or a parent-teacher conference. Sometimes having these key dates and events physically mapped out (and not just swirling around your head) can make the days ahead feel less overwhelming.
#2: Plan Ahead
New school clothes, gathering classroom supplies, and weekday breakfast and lunches are all things you can start planning now. Lighten the load of responsibility and recruit your family to help plan together. Encourage your family to think up creative and healthy meals for each day of the week, and then go to the grocery store together. Make a day trip out of clothing shopping by visiting a neighboring town that has lots to see and do (outside of the mall), to keep things interesting and fun. As you start to check off these school-must-haves early, you will feel your stress lift with each accomplished task.
#3: Start Early
Don’t wait until the night before the first day of school to start a new routine or schedule. Adjustment takes time; the more time you allow yourself (and your family) to mentally and physically prepare for change, the more pleasant the experience will be. For example, try gradually introducing earlier bedtimes a couple weeks before they are necessary. Implementing small changes often and early is the key to a smooth transition.
A simple and flexible 3-point plan that can be easily adapted to suit you and your family — helping to keep everyone happy as Summer comes to an end, while making things easier for you. Go back into the school year feeling calm, relaxed and renewed!