Back-to-School Stress Relief
Can you believe that summer is ending already? Even just thinking about the first day of school can bring on a sinking feeling for students and parents alike. We’ve grown so accustomed to late nights with the family and worry-free summer days that it’s no wonder we’re dreading the school year routine. Between new classes, new teachers, and maybe even a new school, all of the unknowns can be daunting. Luckily, there are ways to smooth the transition back to school. Here are some tips to ease your family back into the swing of things…
Address any worries –
It’s totally normal to be anxious about a new school year. The best way to deal with back-to-school worries is to recognize, verbalize, and address them. As a family or with someone you can confide in, talk about what’s stressing you out. How are you feeling about the year ahead? What are you excited about? What parts are you nervous about? Work through your worries together. For example, discuss what can you to do prepare for taking the bus for the first time. Maybe you could visit the bus stop so you know where it is or befriend a neighbor who’s on the same bus as you. Often times, we make things out to be bigger than they really are. Once we share those worries and let them out, they become smaller and more manageable.
Practice the routine ahead of time –
No one likes suddenly waking up at 7 AM after sleeping in all summer. Ease yourself and your family back into the routine so the change isn’t as harsh. Start now, a week or two before the first day. Gradually go to bed earlier and wake up earlier—perhaps 15 or 30 minutes earlier each day—until you’ve returned to your usual times. Stick to this schedule and create consistency around your morning and nighttime routines. Getting enough sleep is key to success during the day for both kids and parents! Younger kids do especially well with stable routines and a great deal of structure. Go through the motions with your children so they know what to expect by the time it’s September.
Set goals and visualize success –
How can you start this school year on the right foot? Sit down as a family to work out individual and family goals for the upcoming year. Then visualize how you all can achieve these goals. It can be helpful to revisit last year’s successes. Think about what went well last year and consider how you can incorporate those positives into the year ahead. It’s important to have goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and time-based. Having goals will help keep everyone on track this year!
The start of a new school year may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By planning and coping ahead, you can smoothly transition back into your school year routine. Also, remember to relax, enjoy and reflect during these last few days before school and extracurricular activities kick in. Spend quality time as a family, make time for yourself, and plan something fun that you’ve wanted to do before the summer ends. Enjoy the rest of your summer and have a successful school year ahead!