We all the know the feeling.
You’re minding your sweet, summer-lovin’ business, cruising through Target to refill on sunscreen and popsicles. When suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see it. Your heart rate picks up a little as your mind scrambles to place the date. What?! How is this happening already? You ask your self as you approach it cautiously. Once you’ve noticed inevitable return of the Back-To-School section, there’s no going back.
Even with the best of intentions, so many families fall victim to the stress of starting a new school year. With summer coming to a close all too soon, we feel pressure to make every detail perfect as we embark on what’s sure to be best year ever. It seems like all of the sudden things take a sharp turn from pool days to never-ending to do lists… and it can feel pretty heavy even on the most prepared parent.
Why do we let the spectacle of “Back-To-School” get to us? In the spirit of holding onto a few more glorious days of summer (and a bit more of everyone’s sanity), here are 5 ideas on how you can kick the stress this school year.
Jot down the things that MUST get done before the school year kicks off. Doctor visits, forms, school shopping… yes. Watching YouTube tutorials on how to create elaborately-themed bento box lunches…skip it.
2. Learn To Say “No”
As your family mentally gears up for a routine switch, don’t hesitate to cross a few things off the schedule to relax and spend some quality time at home. Nothing traumatic is going to happen if you miss one extra event to spend a rainy afternoon watching movies with the kids. Everyone in the house deserves some down time!
3. Get Outside
A new school year is always associated with the “end of summer” (insert sad faces). Here in Indiana, there is often a solid six weeks of good and hot weather left after school is back in session. Getting outside after school, and resuming some of your families favorite summer activities will lower stress and remind everyone that sweet summer is hanging around for a bit longer.
4. Stop The Comparison Game
It seems like August is a social media frenzy filled with fresh smiling faces holding custom chalk boards announcing the new school year. While I love this tradition (and so will Grandma and Grandpa), the Back-To-School Pinterest project one-upping has to stop there. Perusing Facebook at 11:30PM looking at what other people are doing and making during this busy time will NOT help your stress. So put down that phone, enjoy an episode of (insert your favorite trash tv) and know that you got this.
5. Roll With It
No matter how many lists, schedules, or plans you have… every school year comes with its unique set of challenges. You can’t always anticipate how extra-curricular schedules will play out, who will get sick first, or what committee you’ll be volunteered for. But you CAN choose to take it one day at a time. Ask for help. Change your plan. Say no.
As summer break comes to a close and a new shiny school year is upon us, take a deep breath and choose to kick the stress this fall!