5 Tips to Manage the Back-to-School Blues

September 12, 2016

5 Tips to Manage the Back-to-School Blues

The excitement builds as a new school year approaches, but whether you’re a teacher, parent or student, there is bound to be some stress, too. You don’t have to let that anxiety turn into full-blown back-to-school blues. Take a minute or two as the summer vacation ends to find ways to reduce stress and increase the fun factor. Consider five ways you might improve moods as school opens back up.

1. What Made This Summer Special?

Reflecting on the memories you made this summer is one way to appreciate them as you head back to school. Make it a celebration your family and friends can enjoy.

  • Have one last picnic or barbecue that carries the “What I did this summer” theme and talk about your experiences together and separately.
  • Play games that help everyone share their experiences like 20 questions or charades.
  • Organize projects that create a record of that fabulous summer. Ask everyone to bring pictures from their vacation and put them into a scrapbook, for example.

Teachers might develop classroom projects to help students relive their break for everyone and cement those memories. Things like:

  • Creating a short story based on a favorite summer activity or trip.
  • Ask them to write an essay about the best part of their break and what they are looking forward to in the new school year.
  • Perhaps a collective art project like a class mural or collage to celebrate the end of summer.

2. Get Your Mornings Organized Early

One of the biggest challenges each year is creating that all-important morning routine. If you start early, you can perfect it, so there is less stress once school opens.

  • Get the kids back on a school sleep schedule, so that first day isn’t so hard.
  • Have them start laying out their clothes for the next day before bed.
  • Make sure each day starts with a nutritional breakfast.
  • Plan out the route to school, so the kids have it down when school starts. This might mean walking to the bus stop or to the school each morning a week before classes begin.

Talk about the morning routine as a family, so everyone understands the timeline necessary to ensure the kids are at school on time and how that affects mom and dad’s daily schedule.

3. Get Strong Inside and Out

The stress that comes with a new school year can have an impact on your health and the bacterial balance in your gut. Natren suggests you take a three-prong approach to improving your overall health and counteracting the effects of school-related stress and keep your gut healthy:

  • Focus on a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Find fun ways to get your kids interested in fruits and vegetable, too, like experimenting with food art projects on the weekends to create snacks to eat during the week.
  • Chances are you and the kids have been spending a lot of time outdoors during the summer, but going back to school changes things. What doesn’t change is your need for regular physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children under the age of 17 get at least one hour of exercise each day. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic exercise weekly.
  • The right mix of probiotics will help strengthen the immune system, and help kids fight off the exposure to germs that comes with interacting with other children. You can incorporate some probiotic foods in with your food art projects for even more fun.

4. A Little School Shopping Goes a Long Way

Make school shopping a family affair if you have little ones heading to class this year. The excitement of picking out new clothes will spill over when it comes time to wear them to school. This can make your kids excited about going back to school and encourage their new morning routine of laying out their clothes.

Make selecting a new backpack and filling it with supplies a yearly tradition, too. Just seeing fresh new colors, pens and notebooks will create some enthusiasm.

If you are a teacher getting ready to go back to work, treat yourself to some new stuff, too. A new briefcase and some flattering work clothes can help set the right mood.

5. Plan Some Me Time

Schedule something special for everyone before and after the first week of school. For the kids, you might plan one last day trip to the zoo or science museum before school starts. Surprise them the first weekend after school starts with a picnic in the park or a drive to the beach.

Don’t forget yourself in the “me time” equation. What are you going to do during those first hours when the kids are at school? Plan a special treat for yourself that day even if it just means getting coffee with friends.

It’s time for a new school year. Make the most out it with some careful and thoughtful planning that eases the stress for everyone.

The post 5 Tips to Manage the Back-to-School Blues appeared first on Natren Probiotics Blog.




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