How to Prepare for Back-to-School So You Don’t Stress
Are your kids ready for a new school year? Are you?
If you feel like you blinked and missed the summer or otherwise aren’t feeling ready for the grind of the school routine, you may be feeling some back-to-school stress. And that stress can affect more than just how many cups of coffee you need to get through the drop-off lane.
Here are three ways you can prepare for back-to-school without the anxiety.
Meal preparation makes a difference
It’s not just the sack lunches that are making a return: breakfast and dinner can quickly feel the pinch of busier schedules once school is back in session. Planning your menu, getting your grocery shopping done, and taking at least a few steps toward preparing those meals in advance can make all the difference.
Whether you take some time to prep your produce, meats, or other aspects of your upcoming meals or decide to start cooking in large batches to leverage leftovers, having your food scheduled can help you stay away from the stress of deciding what to eat and the hassle of pulling a meal together at the last-minute.
Choose activities mindfully
It can be tempting for kids and parents alike to get overly excited about extracurricular opportunities and social activities, but piling up your schedules can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Pick the teams, classes, and groups that you and your kids feel most excited about — and practice saying no to the ones that turn into an energy drain or nothing more than an obligation.
Make sure you take a look at schedules not just for regular practices or meetings, but for games, tournaments, and other special events. Try to avoid overlap on any single family member’s schedule, of course, but also make sure that everyone can manage attendance, chaperoning, or chauffeuring to and from without extra back-to-school stress.
Get back on a sleep schedule
If you’ve gotten used to sleeping in and staying up late, those first few mornings with an alarm clock can make for a rude awakening — literally. Make a note of when school starts and work backwards to create a plan to gradually adjust to those early mornings. Try to go to bed even just half an hour earlier each night (and make the same change with an earlier alarm in the mornings) to ease your way back into reality.
Good sleep is one of the most essential components of maintaining your overall health and promoting general well-being. Since it affects everything from heartrate and blood pressure to feelings of productivity and stress, it’s crucial that you don’t neglect getting shuteye as often as you can.
Is stress keeping you up at night? If you’re experiencing bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding), stress could be to blame. Protect your teeth — and your sleep — with a dental guard. Look for SleepRight dental guards when you go back-to-school shopping at your local CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart.