Four Quick Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

Starting any school year can be stressful, but with a positive frame of mind, the transition back to school can be smooth and successful.  The good news is that with awareness, preparation and communication, you can reduce your stress!  

Here are some tips to help you have a smooth transition back to school:

·      Get regular and consistent sleep: Set a time to go up to your room to start your nightly ritual such as taking care of your skin, listening to relaxing music or reading a good book.  Make sure you are in bed with lights off at a reasonable hour.  A good night’s sleep should consist of at least 8 hours.

·      Eat a balanced, healthy meal plan: Get in the habit of eating breakfast - your body needs the calories to convert into energy so you can maintain awareness and a clear head as you start your day.  Continue eating throughout the day.  Find some good snacks to throw into your school bag so you have something at hand when you feel your energy level starting to wane. 

·      Stay active and physical:  allow your self time during the day to go out for a brisk walk, to ride your bike, do yoga or anything that requires movement and focus.  Engaging your body and mind in a physical activity will help to build your energy reserves for a time when you need to tap into it.

·      Organize yourself:  a cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind! Organize your new school supplies and your school bag.  Clean out all the junk and clutter from last year.  Start fresh. Clean out your closet so you can easily put together the clothes you want to wear each day.

Additional things to consider before school starts:

·      Ask yourself how you are feeling about the new year?  What are you excited about?  What parts are you nervous about?  Talk to someone about these things.  Many times we make things out to be larger than they are.  Once we put those worries out into the Universe, they become smaller and more manageable.

·      If starting in a new school, go visit the campus.  For younger kids that might mean attending a pre-school event that the school or PTA may officially organize.  Or, take your bikes or walk over to the school and check out the grounds; explore different areas or play at the playground.  For college kids, some schools will organize a pre-school activity such as camping or a volunteer opportunity.  This is a great way to meet people with similar interests before school even starts

·      Organize all your school supplies:  Make a list of all the supplies you think you will need to start the year.  Most schools provide a list on their websites or in a letter to home. Get yourself to the store to buy all the materials and think of the best way to organize those materials at home or in school.  I like to suggest a notebook (3 ring binder) with two folders (either attached or added separately) for each subject. One folder is for assignments that need to be completed and the other folder is for assignments that are ready to be handed in. 

·      Sit down as a family and talk to one another about what the expectations are for the year.  Things to consider would include wake up times, how everyone is getting to school, what courses and activities are "a must" (ex. math tutoring, after-school homework help, extra-curriculum, religious instruction, etc.) and what activities can be done for fun, and agreements around such things as homework completion, chores around the home, and curfews.  Be as clear as possible about what is expected and the potential consequences around these expectations not being met.  This should be a discussion between ALL parties involved - taking into consideration each person’s needs and wants - not someone telling the other what they will be doing, feeling or acting.

It is that time of year again.  Make your transition as smooth as possible!