Back to School, with a Touch of Sanity
September 1st is often thought of as a second New Year. It is a chance to start fresh, get back into routines and generally reorganize life after a busy summer. It can be seen as a time of new beginnings and an opportunity to revise goals. For a lot of people (kids and adults alike!) it is also the return of school. Going back to school can be a trying time, whether it is a new grade, school or path in life. Here are some of our tips for starting this year on the right foot!
Hold on to summer
Take advantage of the fact that September is still warm, there is less homework to do and the sun sets a little later. It is a great time to have dinner on the patio or check out new and interesting areas of your neighbourhood. Beach visits, new adventures or swimming don’t have to cease just because school is back in session—keep the momentum of summer in the evenings and over the weekends.
Spending time outside has some great benefits as well— increased physical activity as well as exposure to the sun’s vitamin D. Holding onto summer for just a bit longer can help students, young and old, ease into the school year—the overlap between the two seasons can be a little less jarring than a swift transition from beaches and summer nights to classrooms and homework.
Plan your meals
Getting back into a September routine can be great but it is important to set yourself up for success. One easy thing you can do is meal plan. Sitting down every week to chart out a course for your family helps to get a big picture of the week. Decide in advance what to include in the breakfast, lunch and dinner rotation—especially as it relates to your busy schedules! This can focus your grocery trips, free up time and ensure your family is eating nutritiously.
While you are prepping dinner, take a few extra moments to assemble breakfast and lunch for the next day—it will help cultivate a seamless morning. Have kids? Get them to help with the menu plan, choosing snacks and lunch ideas. Their engagement in the process may translate into more excitement around lunchtime and less thrown out sandwiches.
Invest in self-care
Whether you are going back to the classroom yourself, or supporting a crew that is, it is important to slow down and treat yourself to some self care. The new routines, added planning and academic demands can be overwhelming.
Give yourself permission to be gentle with yourself—not everything has to be executed with perfection on the first try and you don’t have to tackle five new goals in that first week of school. Tackle one new thing a week, nourish yourself with a juicy book or great yoga practice and make sure you get a great night’s sleep. The school year is a marathon, not a sprint- you will be have plenty of time throughout the year to do all the things you want to do.