Back to school already!? Some of you might be wondering, is it really almost Fall? Where did this summer go? At the end of summer, it feels like you need a refresher on how to do it all before the madness begins again. How do you make back to school transition successful? Everything is possible when you bring intention to the game with the right mindset.
Fall is a transformational time when everyone gets back to a routine again. Whether you are a stay at home or working mom it can be a bit overwhelming. Trying to balance it all and still keep it together can be a challenge in and of itself! You help your kids get ready for back to school, schedule appointments, help with homework, plan for events, prioritize your time, never mind balancing the rest of the family schedule. It does not help that most kids have been out of practice being in person at school as well. If that doesn’t sound exhausting I don’t know what does!
Life can be hectic in the beginning of the school year as you adjust back to a routine. Here are some ways to help you get back on track with balancing it all while still making things happen and enjoying the Fall season.
Be Intentional On The Things That Matter Most
When you decide up front that this Fall will be a success, it will be. We run around like super mom getting things done because that is what we do but what if we brought more intention to the game? What if we can do all the things that we need to do but with more calmness and joy?
When you’re intentional in advance you get a better outcome in more ways than one. Think about what areas you can be more intentional on? Think about all the areas of your life that can feel overwhelming when not planned accordingly. Those are the things to focus on first. I’ve outlined my top five priorities below.
1. Everything Must Go On Your Calendar
If it doesn’t go on your calendar it will likely not happen or at least not in the effective way it should. We often wish we had time for this or we should make time for that. It doesn’t have to be hard. Put it on your calendar and the more likely you’ll achieve it. Even time with yourself should go on your calendar. More on that later.
Here is a tip:
Keep all your important appointments and meetings on one calendar. Most people attempt to keep several calendars. While it might make sense at first it often becomes even more overwhelming to have to look at so many different calendars. Remember we want to eliminate feeling overwhelmed as much as possible. If you know adding to your plate will create a bit more anxiety then don’t add that to your plate. Be okay with saying no to some things.
We often think we have to keep work and personal life separate to have a balance but in fact it all intertwines with each other. Sometimes attempting so hard to keep things separate stresses you out even more. Having a work meeting on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. on the same calendar as your personal life is handy when making those personal doctor’s appointments so that you can see what is doable and what works for you or what may not.
Here is a tip:
Someone might request a work commitment for a future date from you and you see your calendar and notice that you have a personal appointment that day. That way you can plan accordingly. You won’t miss anything important by having all that is important to you on one calendar. It leaves less room for overbooking yourself as well.
Place the important dates of your kids school calendar on your main calendar so you don’t miss out on any important school happenings. Most school websites allow you to sync the school calendar to yours and voila, it’s done! It makes the back to school transition successful. You might want to take a day off in advance when you notice your little one’s are off school on a specific date coming up.
2. Set A Routine That Works
I cannot tell you how much adults and kids alike thrive with having a routine. Morning routines are the best because I don’t know about you but my mornings can be the most stressful. Trying to get yourself and your kids ready, fed, lunches made and out the door on time can be hectic. This is why routines are great. Kids will know what to expect when you cultivate a morning routine that everyone can predict. There are so many benefits of having a morning routine, but wait it does not stop there. A night routine is just as important!
There are benefits of good sleep And sound routine to make the back to school transition successful.When you are doing a nighttime routine with the kids it’s important to transition them into getting ready for bed. Have them pick out their school clothes the night before. This may seem small but a huge time saver in the morning. Every minute counts!
3. Sleep Is Important
When kids stay on a routine and they get an adequate amount of sleep it benefits their mental and physical health (not to mention their parents’). When they go to school well rested it improves their performance and memory. It leads to an easy transition to school routine because they can concentrate and have a healthy school year.
In the article “ Sleep and Early Brain Development” by Fan Jiang, it was found that “children spending less time awake during the night in early life were associated with better performance of a working memory task” ( Fan Jiang, 2019). Routines diminish stress and can impact your kids’ mental health in a positive way. This has been shown to strengthen the bond between parents and children. Your child will trust you more and will understand your expectations better when it comes to rules and routines. Once a routine is established in their minds it will make them better students and you as a parent will avoid stressful moments as well and make the back to school transition successful.
4. Prep In Advance
What does the week ahead look like? Do you need to ask for help in drop offs or pick ups from school? What meals will you make? If you have an all day at the office, will the crock pot be the thing to do that Wednesday morning? Can you delegate some of the grocery runs for the week? Plan ahead! It will save you time and most importantly it will make you feel less stressed.
5. Involve Your Kids
Kids love to help with adult chores more than you think. No matter the age. Even if they complain they secretly will thrive with the simple fact of contribution. Have them make their lunch the night before. Or help you prep for meals on Sunday nights. Remember routine? Have them dedicate a day of the week where they get to pick what’s for dinner that day. You might be asking, what if I have younger kids that cannot help yet? Don’t worry.
If you have little one’s not yet old enough to do some things you can still involve them by showing them what mommy does to plan ahead. Kids will pick up on this more than you think. It will be time well spent as it is training in the making for when they are old enough to contribute. Kids are never too young to get started!
You are your #1 asset
Decide upfront when you will take a moment for yourself daily. I highly encourage you to take a moment in your day every day. Yes, you heard me right. Every day! But Diana, I don’t have time “every” day you might be saying right now. Yes, you do. If you cannot take even 5 minutes a day to invest in you then it’s really time to revisit your priorities.
Without you being whole, nothing can be. Nothing is more important in your life than your mental health. You are no good to your kids to your work to yourself if you cannot find the time to invest in yourself every day. Even if it is as little as five minutes. Remember the calendar? Put it on your calendar and make it non negotiable!
Take those five minutes to just be. Do not look at your phone or emails. In fact, silence those if you can. Take those five minutes (10 or 15 is better but if you only have five I will take it!) to breathe in deep and exhale deeply and slowly. Do this and while you do this you are letting all that does not serve you out. That allows all the calmness and what serves you in. See yourself ending your day feeling so accomplished with how your day went.
Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!
Visualize exactly the moments you want to experience the remainder of the day. As you see yourself in these five minutes of breathing, notice how well you are feeling at dinner time This is truly magical! Do it and see the difference in the outcome for the day. There are Meditation and breathing apps you can download on your cell phone and even a smartwatch are useful to take a second to recharge.
Mental Health is Your Best Friend To Make Back to School Transition Successful
Intention, mindset, organizing in advance with consistency will help you get ready for Fall and make the back to school transition successful. And, most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Finally be present with the things that matter most to you because by the time you know it your kids will be graduating high school! Enjoy making beautiful memories this Fall with your kids!
Remember to check Diana’s Upcoming Events page where you can see her latest events . And if you have a question, send us a note, we would love to hear from you!
Fan Jiang – https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/508055