School survival tips: It’s easy to get used to the relaxed, stress-free mornings that characterize the summer break. With no school to go to, your children can take some time for themselves — and so can you. But when the back-to-school insanity returns, stress levels can often return with a vengeance.
There’ll always be an element of anxiety and stress surrounding this time of year. But if you’re prepared for what’s ahead, you can minimize the chaos. With that in mind, here are six back-to-school tips that should help you to stay sane — and focused on all of your other responsibilities.
1. Make a Back-to-School Shopping List
A child’s school inventory can be huge, including everything from erasers and pencils to gym clothes and sneakers. Stress levels soar when we’re not prepared and organized, so start the process — a week or two before the big day — by creating a master shopping list. Schedule a day to go shopping at the mall, and make sure every item on the list is purchased. When back-to-school hysteria really kicks in, you won’t have to worry about having the necessary supplies.
2. Prepare Outfits the Night Before
Back-to-school hysteria lasts for a week or two, so anything you can do to alleviate the stress and anxiety surrounding it should be embraced. One way is to prepare your children’s school outfits the night before — at least for the first few days of the new semester. This will free up time in the mornings, and make your life a lot easier. And to stop arguments and tantrums, pick out the clothes with your children. Involve them in the process, and early-morning disputes become far less likely.
3. Re-introduce Normal Habits
It’s very easy to get out of the old routines during extended breaks from school. Children often go to bed later, get up later, and eat when they’re hungry. This is OK for a while, but it poses logistical and lifestyle issues that can make the back-to-school period even more stressful. Start to introduce school-time eating and sleeping habits a week or so before the start of the new semester. When the big day arrives, the transition will be a lot smoother.
4. Keep Yourself Fit and Happy
If you’re anxious, stressed and worried about your kids’ return to school, they’re likely to pick up on your negative emotions — exacerbating the whole back-to-school dilemma. Before you try to make your kids happy, make yourself happy. Get lots of sleep, exercise regularly, and stick to a healthy and balanced diet. Do the things that make you happy or relieve your stress. Once you’re in a good place, you can work towards making sure your children are too.
5. Keep Lines of Communication with Teachers Open
Your teachers are best placed to observe your children’s behavior during those all-important first few days back at school. They can let you know about any problems, and inform you when the emotion of returning to school starts to get too much. You can use this information to change routines, offer more support, or simply loosen the reins of supervision. Try to communicate with the teachers at your children’s school regularly during the first week or two of the new semester.
6. Stay Alert and Energized with Lots of Joe
Nothing gets you ready for a tough back-to-school day like a great cup of specialty coffee. A hit of natural caffeine heightens your senses and gives you the mental energy you need to negotiate those tricky mornings before school. Before the new semester starts, sign up to a craft coffee subscription to make sure you never run out of quality coffee.
The back-to-school time of the year is always going to be challenging. But with the right preparation and changes to your daily routines, you can make the transition a little easier on your children.