Although the start of a new school year is an exciting time, it can also create anxiety and stress for kids and parents alike. If you find yourself craving smooth mornings and a peaceful home environment, get unfrazzled with these helpful tips:
1. Manage Your Own Stress – With all the pressure of having to reinstate routines, plan new activities and find time to help with homework, it’s no wonder back-to-school is anxiety-inducing for parents too. However, if you are overly stressed and anxious, you will inadvertently pass a bit of that on to your kids. This is an important time for your own self-care. Do not take on any more commitments than your family can comfortably handle. Learn to say NO to every activity that puts you over the top. As simple living expert Courtney Carver maintains, “If you want more time, freedom and energy, start saying no.” And please, give yourself a few minutes alone each day to just breathe.
2. Get Enough Sleep – We’ve said it before; we’ll say it again; and we will continue saying it forevermore – get enough sleep! Proper sleep habits will not only contribute to success at school and at work, but it also helps stave away the grumpies and increases the strength of your immune system.
3. Prepare the Night Before – We know you’re tired. We get it. You want to crash on your couch with a sweet snack and Netflix and forget the dishes, lunches and clothes. That’s a bad idea. Go ahead and wile your worries away with Netflix, but first do some prep work to make tomorrow so much easier. If you get into a good nighttime prep routine, we promise you will sail through this year. Make sure your kids have done their part and have everything they need in their backpacks. Pack their lunches now, or if they are over 8 have them pack their own! If you still have a bit of energy, plan what you will eat for breakfast and put out the clothes you will each wear the next day. Now get on that couch and relax knowing you’ve set yourself up for a good day!
4. Create a Visual Schedule – Visual schedules can help both kids and adults establish new routines. As part of your family’s communication system, a list of things to do will melt away the stress of forgetting something and will help hold your children accountable for their responsibilities. As a bonus, once you are all visually prompted to follow your routines enough times it will become an ingrained habit that you barely have to think about!