The new school year can be a stressful time for parents. From new clothes, haircuts, school supplies, and summer assignments cramming into 1 week to saying goodbye at the steps of the pre-k or dorm room door.
While my little ones aren’t old enough for school quite yet; with over 15 years working with children, teens and young adults I know it can also be stressful for anyone who works with families as well.
Here are my 5 favorite activities to help relieve some of the back to school stress for parents and helpers:
- 5 Minute Mini Break * Picture you by yourself for five minutes. You don’t hear the same question you just answered for the 10th time or have to give the same direction again. Time to breathe, relax. Be grateful and remember why you love your children and/or work.
- Kid Free Date Night * Am I the only one who finds a little bit of time away from the kiddies or work can make the time together so much sweeter? Can you plan a night out with friends or your partner?
- Outdoor Time * Can you take in some of the beauty of nature? You may not need to go far or you may want to. When I have a little time between sessions I make it a point to park at the park to write a few notes. From walks on the beach and nature hikes to sitting in your backyard or local park, time in nature is time well spent. Before the Jersey cold sets a little outdoor time can be a great way to getaway.
- A New Experience * Distraction is definitely a strategy we use in our coaching and counseling to help little ones manage stress, anxiety and frustration. Why not give it a try ourselves. Something new is usually the perfect distraction to get my mind off the day to day grind. A new food, event, activity, sign me up. Can you find something new to do this Fall?
- A New or Old Hobby * I love organizing. A bit of time cleaning out my closet helps me relax, clear my head and get ready for a new day. Judgement free zone :-). Do you enjoy a good book, play an instrument, fishing? Whatever your favorite hobby, making a little time for it can help manage your week.
Remember you can’t fill from an empty cup. Even Lebron James gets a few minutes to sit before the half during a finals game.
Bonus points if you put the cell phones away!
- Do you have any tips for managing back to school stress?? Did you try or do one or all of these regularly?
- We would love to hear from you !
Alejandrina Batista is co-owner and co-founder of Inspire – Renew – Transform. IRT seeks to Build Stronger Families through outpatient counseling, mentoring and in home services for children and families.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Hope to hear from you soon.