The days are getting shorter and the evenings are feeling a little cooler, which can only mean one thing... school is just around the corner. While it's a bit sad to think that the summer is coming to a close, starting a new school year is also exciting! School gives students a reason to be around friends all day, every day, engaging in activities that keep everyone engaged and curious. For those of you with students and children who are not super psyched to get back into school mode, we've come up with three easy steps you can take to start off on the right foot this school year. So while you're soaking up those last rays of sun, begin to incorporate these things into your life and simplify sliding into the school year!
Build a Routine
We know. It's hard to wake up early. It's also hard to go to bed early, even though that makes waking up early a little easier. Settle into a routine now, before school has started, and the stakes are low. Sit down and think about the things you like to do before bed now, when you have the time. Which of those things can you incorporate into a daily routine once school starts? Some ideas for evening routines:
- Take some time to think about the next day and consider what tasks need doing. When school starts, this can transition into looking at what classes are on the schedule.
- Prepare everything you need for the next day, pack your backpack (see the next section)
- Charge your devices - consider charging them on your dresser, or somewhere other than your bedside so you're not tempted to fall asleep scrolling
- Unwind with a story or meditation
- Set out clothes for the next day
- Set your alarm to give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes so you're not rushing - no reason to start your day with stress
For morning routines:
- Wake up gently, take an extra five minutes to set a cheerful, kind intention for the day - remember you gave yourself a few extra minutes
- Get dressed, brush teeth, wash face - do these wake up activities in the same order each day and it'll quickly become routine so nothing gets forgotten. This is especially helpful for younger children who might be starting a morning routine for the first time.
- Make a quick check of your schedule and attendant necessities before sitting down to breakfast. This give you some time to remember any last minute items while you eat.
- Have breakfast - get the day started off with something nutritious to give you the energy you need for the morning.
Prepare for Success
Take some time now to consider ways you can make your own life easier once the hustle and bustle of the school year gets underway. What are some things that always need doing or which often get forgotten? Some ideas about things that can be prepared in advance:
- Healthy snacks - It's easier to snack healthfully when the snacks are convenient. Consider stocking the fridge with family favorites in single servings, so they're easy to grab and go.
- Create a drop zone - students come home from school with all kinds of things - create designated places for papers, sports equipment, backpacks, and reduce the frenzy for finding lost items.
- Do it today, not tomorrow - pack your backpacks and anything needed for after school activities the night before. This gives you time to remember last minute things in the morning, and lessens morning stress.
- Queue up a story for the ride to school - browse the catalog and choose a story to listen to on your commute or get it set to your last bookmark. When you get in the car or on the bus in the morning, you can turn off data and listen without interruption. Save a new bookmark when you get to school or work.
Changing your daily routine isn't easy. You don't have to do it all at once. Most of you still have at least a few days before school starts, so try adding one or two things to your routine each day. Before you know it, you'll have solid morning and evening routines. If you incorporate the listening and/or meditation time, you'll also be feeling less stressed, more prepared, and have a stronger vocabulary!