School Year Success: Tips for Minimizing Stress and Prioritizing Health

As the lazy summer winds down and you head into fall, what does it take to get your kids ready for a successful school year? The following steps can help ease the transition to a fun-filled school season.

Tips for School Year Success

Set a Schedule Before You Need to

Summers can be nice and relaxing. Maybe you’ve enjoyed lazy mornings with coffee and free evenings with sunsets, barbecues, and loved ones. When school starts, schedules tighten up. Easing slowly into a new schedule can make the transition easier. Get the kids in bed a little earlier each night and start waking up a little earlier in the morning. Plan for some evening down time to get used to the new schedule.

Decide What This Year Will Look Like

Don’t let this year hit you all at once. Take some time to determine what you want it to look like. A few minutes of preparation ahead of time can help set you up for success.

  • What activities will be added to your schedule?
  • Will your kids try a new hobby this year?
  • Do you need to schedule a tutor to keep your kids on track with their lessons?
  • Have you found an after-school babysitter or program?

Don’t Overbook

It’s important not to overcommit. Determine what activities and commitments you want to have and don’t be afraid to say no to other things. Decide what your limits are and give your kids some input on what they want to do. If it’s too much, make a choice. If your family’s schedule won’t allow for soccer and dance, ask your child to choose what they want to do most. Downtime, relaxation, and rest are all important for a healthy school year.

Find Healthy Choices

When things get busy, it’s easy to choose fast food for dinner or feed the kids processed snack foods between meals. Prioritize healthy choices, meal planning, and balanced nutrition.

  • Take your kids shopping for healthy lunchbox add-ins. Try pretzels, fresh fruit, cheese sticks, veggies and dip, or nuts as great side items. Don’t forget a protein-filled main dish such as a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, chicken, or cottage cheese.
  • Plan meals ahead for busy nights with activities. An easy meal prepared in advance or a freezer meal can be your saving grace on a busy night.
  • Spend a weekend day chopping produce for easy snacks. As the week gets busy, some weekend prep can go a long way.
  • Look for quick breakfasts. Instead of a drive-through, fill your kitchen with whole grain cereal, fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, turkey sausage, and oats.

Find Ways to Fit in Fitness

When schedules get busy, fitness is still important. Finding time to fit this in can be a challenge for both you and the kids.

  • Consider getting up earlier to knock out a workout before the day gets too busy.
  • Don’t discount family time. A family walk or a friendly game of basketball can help you have quality time together while staying active.
  • Work in fitness. Squeeze in a walk during lunch or a fitness session between your kids’ schedules.

Above all, have a great school year filled with healthy activities, lots of fun, and the foundations for success!

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