Back to school can be such an exciting yet stressful time. As you adapt to your family's new schedule, don't forget to make time for self-care. Remember, self-care is an essential part of your everyday life. You deserve to make self-care a part of your daily routine. Here's some tips to incorporate self-care into your day to day life as your children return to their school routine.
Back to School Self Care Tips
Have a plan- but be realistic
It might seem helpful to have every moment of your day planned down to every last detail, but realistically these plans are bound to go wrong at some point. Focus on the things you have the most control over, or the things that cause you the most stress. Make planning for these things a natural part of your routine, such as giving yourself 30 minutes each Sunday night to figure out when your kids will need rides throughout the week or placing a grocery order the same time every week. But even the most detailed plans can fail and unexpected things pop up all the time. When these things happen, be kind to yourself.
Make an after school routine
The start of the school year can be chaos so create some consistency where you can. Having a consistent routine can help minimize your daily planning and guarantee a few moments free of chaos. Pick one thing that can be consistent every day. Some ideas include having a designated homework spot in your house, ensuring you eat dinner or a snack as a family each night or winding down with a book before bed. It might take some work to establish your routine, but after awhile it will just be a natural part of your day.
Set boundaries for you and your family
It is too easy to get overwhelmed by a packed schedule, yet it often feels impossible to say no to an invite or opportunity. You might feel pressured to let your kids participate in endless extracurriculars, sports and hobbies while also trying to help them manage school responsibilities, a social life and life at home. Set boundaries for you and your family to make sure you are not being stretched too thin. It's ok to let your kids take a season off from a sport, turn down an invitation to a sleep over or take a step back from a club.
Schedule time to relax
We all get so busy that we forget to relax. You might feel like you are constantly on the go and by the time you recognize your burn out you need major recovery time. Make sure you include downtime or relaxation in your routine. Pick something you can do every day, every week and every month. For example, you can spend 10 minutes before you go to bed reading (and encourage your kids to do the same) every day, make sure you eat dinner as a family once a week and treat yourself to a coffee date once a month.
Ask for help
As a parent or caregiver, you may feel like you spend your life being the family chauffer, chef, event coordinator, financial advisor, housekeeper and everything else in between, often while also juggling a job and your own personal life. Sometimes we take on all of these responsibilities because we feel like we have no choice or maybe we are afraid that everything won't get accomplished unless we do it ourselves. But you are allowed to ask for help! Identify people and resources that can help you when you are feeling overwhelmed. Can you ask a teammate's parent to help with rides to practice? Do you have a family member or friend that can help you clean your house? Does your school or community have financial assistance to help with lunches or uniforms? Asking for help doesn't mean you aren't capable of doing it on your own, it just means you are strong enough to recognize what is best for your well-being.