Getting Through Your Family’s Craziest Time of Year

Back to School Stress ReliefWhoa, is that the school bell we just heard? If you’re like us, you probably felt like the summer just begin. Fast-forward two minutes and school is starting! For most families, the back-to-school season is one of the busiest times of the year, due to the overwhelming amount of appointments, tasks and scheduling hiccups. From yearly physicals and vaccinations to school supply shopping to extracurricular activities and parent-teacher conferences, it’s no wonder parents tend to feel a little stretched – not to mention stressed this time of year. But if you’re looking to feel a little more relaxed and a little less frazzled this school year, now is the time to do something about it. And guess what? It’s probably not as hard as you think.

Get your morning groove going.

Ugh, mornings. From showers to (nutritious) breakfasts to homework gathering to clothes-selection arguing to running to the school bus, you can feel like you’ve put in a whole day’s work by 8:30 in the morning. When it comes to these busy school year mornings, a routine is imperative – and will likely be your lifesaver. Plan for the morning the evening before, by making sure lunches are made, homework is done and put away in backpacks, clothes are chosen and laid out, and you’ve got your wallet, car keys, and cell phone right where you need them. Hey, you may even get to sleep in 15 minutes (yeah right) this way.

Plan a week’s worth of lunches.

If you’ve got picky kids, planning, making and packing those school lunches can be a special kind of torture. But it doesn’t have to be. Over the weekend, plan and shop for the upcoming week’s school lunches – then make sure you verify the contents of each day with your kids so you don’t run into unexpected opposition (you likely still will now and then, but you can’t exactly plan around kids’ fickleness). With everything prepared, you won’t need to stress over what to make in the morning (or if you’re heeding our counsel, the night before).

Create a family calendar.

If there’s one thing the school year can do for a family, it’s teach them how to juggle a dozen varying schedules (okay, maybe it only feels like that many). Instead of trying to remember who goes to what and who needs what today, create a family calendar and let the kids know it’s their responsibility (if they’re old enough) to populate it with their appointments, events, and supplies they might need you to pick up. If the idea doesn’t click right away, it will after your pre-teen misses her dance practice!

Call in some help.

You’ve got a busy schedule and too many places to be at once. Guess what? Your neighbor or that family down the street feels the same way. Sometimes, the best way to tackle the back-to-school season is by joining forces with others facing your same challenges. For instance, instead of drop-off duty at two or three different schools, offer to split carpool duties with a family whose kids are similar ages. This even works when you’re shopping for supplies; split the work and break up the list with a family friend. This allows you to benefit from buying in bulk as well.

Take some downtime.

You may be a great parent, but you’re not a superhero, and you can’t run on pure will alone (although you probably try). This time of year, it’s common to put your own needs on the back burner and focus entirely on your kids. But guess what? That’s likely just going to make you feel more stretched – and even more stressed out. Make it a priority to take some time for yourself. A float therapy session can be exactly what you need to relieve stress, shift your focus and feel like yourself again – a super parent ready to take on the next week (and the one after that). So before this season beats you, come see us!

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