August is approaching and you know what that means: back to school. As a kid this was always a dreadful time of the year for me. The thought of my precious summer break coming to a screeching halt was heartbreaking. I hated trading in my pool toys and flip-flops for schoolbooks and crayons. The stress and anxiety of upcoming homework assignments, quizzes, and exams can be mood deflating for students (and parents!) of all ages. I always wanted summer to last forever—and still do!
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and summer does eventually come to an end each season. However, you can try to combat those back to school blues with some last-minute summer shenanigans and a few tips for easing back into the swing of another school year.
Make the most of the final days of freedom
Netflix will be available all winter long. For the last few days and weeks of summer take advantage of the great outdoors! Beat the heat by taking an extra dip in the pool or visit a nearby water park. Enjoy the sunshine before the fluorescent lighted hallways and classrooms fill your daytime hours.
Eat the ice cream
Nothing savours the sweet summertime more than a double scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream. I don’t often suggest succumbing to unhealthy cravings, but a little bit of ice cream sure can soften the blow of school starting again. So while you’re out enjoying the sunshine be sure and make a pit stop for a delicious treat.
You didn’t really think I was going to tell you to eat ice cream without at least suggesting you counter those calories with some physical activity did you? Get out and get active while the days are longer and the weather is more desirable. The physical and mental benefits of exercise are numerous. Just 30 minutes of exercise not only relieves stress and anxiety, it helps improve your overall mood too. Anxious or stressed about the upcoming school year? Go for a jog or take a fun fitness class. Getting into a regular workout routine now will help you maintain the healthy habit in the future.
Start transitioning your time
Speaking of routines—getting back into the daily routine of early mornings, long days, and late nights can be grueling. When I was younger my mom always made me start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier as the first day of school started to near. This was brutal! All I wanted to do was soak up the last few days of summer by staying up all night and sleeping in all day. *Spoiler alert: my mom was on to something.* Starting to transition back to normal bedtime and morning routines before school starts makes the first week back more bearable. Try starting your child’s (and your own) bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier each night a couple of weeks before the first day of school. This transitional period will soothe some of the pain that comes with hearing that first day of school alarm ringing bright and early!
What does a typical day look like in your household? Who is in charge of unloading the dishwasher or walking the dog? Sometimes during the summer we become more lax when it comes to chores and other household responsibilities. It can be hard to do the laundry when a cushioned pool chair is calling your name this summer. However, with the start of school comes sports practices, birthday parties, and other social obligations that fill up your already busy schedules. Prep your kids, and yourself, with the expectations of what lies ahead. If you know that Monday’s and Wednesday’s are booked with soccer and karate, set the expectation that Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are set aside for cleaning rooms or family game night. Setting expectations and providing reminders ahead of time can help eliminate melt downs and arguments. For more tips on how to stay organized with busy schedules see my previous post here: Stay Organized, Stay in Control
Regardless of what you and your friends and family enjoy doing for fun, go do more of it! Summer is such a short-lived season that we have to take advantage of the fun and playful opportunities while we still have the chance. The start of school can be accompanied with bustling demands and high stress. So combat that stress by having some fun before the confines of the classroom start calling your name again.Back to school season is upon us, whether we like it or not. If back to school brings out the blues for you and your family try the above suggestions to battle those blues away and get prepared for a successful school year ahead!
Did my stories about back to school sound all too familiar for you? Share with me some of your own personal back to school stories or strategies that you and your family utilize to make this time of transition run a little smoother. I would love to hear from you!