The back to school season is upon us, which can bring up a lot of emotions and stress. From new routines and schedules to busy mornings and less time for family connection. You can read our 5 tips for improving family connectedness in our past newsletter.
Whether this is your first back to school season, or you are a seasoned back to school veteran, creating a routine and rhythm can help transition you and your family from sleeping in & staying up late, to the routine of being back to school.
Here are some tips to help create a rhythm that feels natural and calm and helps set your family up for a successful school year:
- Set up a morning routine. A morning routine creates a calm environment to start your day, and helps get everyone out of the door on time with less of a struggle because the entire family knows what to expect. Put the power in your kids’ hands and give them the confidence to complete their morning routine on their own.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it. For many parents this is one of the harder parts of the process to put into effect, but in actuality is one of the most important. According to the Mayo Clinic, school age children need on average, at least 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Many studies have shown that children whose bedtimes are consistent and allow for enough sleep, have a better sense of well-being and fewer outbursts of behavioral problems during school hours. If your child has yet to been eased into to their school year sleep habits, don’t fret, there is still time! And as any parent can attest a child that has slept well is a happy child!
- Don’t Do It Alone. We’ve all heard the saying, “it takes a village”. If you need help, ask for it, whether that is from family, friends, your spouse, or a therapist. Seeking help is a sign of strength—not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. Our TherapyWorks team consists of some of the most professional and compassionate therapists around who are here to help you when you need it. You can schedule an appointment online 24/7.
- Fuel Your Body With Healthy Foods. Eating healthy has an enormous impact on your mental health and energy levels. But with the busyness of the school year, cooking and eating healthy meals can fall by the wayside. Just like everything else, planning ahead can help you have healthy meals ready for your family. Take a little time on the weekend to plan what’s for dinner during the week. Including your children in the meal planning is also a fun way to bring them into the part of the process! Bonus: you’ll spend less time aimlessly wandering the aisles at the grocery store, and spend less on groceries. Here’s a link to a generalized meal planner including a grocery shopping list to give you an idea!
- Keep Everyone On The Same Page (literally). From schedules to to-do lists and expectations, write down events, assignments and other household tasks. Refrigerator calendars are a great tool to keep the adults and children in the loop for of upcoming school activities and events. That way no one is surprised or caught off guard, which can cause unneeded stress.
A Note: It’s important to remember that as students head back to school, they can be dealing with a host of emotions. Young people today deal with a lot – and those who are struggling with mental health problems often must deal with them on their own – because we don’t recognize the seriousness of the problems until kids begin to get in trouble at school. That’s too late, and it often doesn’t result in the right kind of help. Remember that mental health issues are common and treatable and should be addressed as soon as possible. If you or you or your child need help, please reach out.