And just like that summer vacation draws to a close. Road trips are in the rearview mirror, students are going back to school, and we’re back to the daily grind. Between buying school supplies, meeting teachers, morning carpool, after-school activities, and packing lunches, the transition into the new school year can be a bit overwhelming. But fear not! We have six tips that will make your back-to-school time easier, and also contribute to a mentally and emotionally healthier you.
1. Establish a routine but be flexible with yourself. Focus on the bigger picture. For example, the goal is to spend valuable time having dinner together, not necessarily cooking the perfect meal after a hectic day.
2. Outsource what you can. This will give you time for what you want to focus on. If you can, consider sending your clothes to the laundromat or hire a cleaning service. An easy way to create some time is to consolidate school pick-ups once a week with another parent. You both have to pick up the kids and this can give you both some time off to focus on other things.
3. Delegate. Remember that you don’t need to do it all yourself! It’s ok to ask for help from your partner, a friend, and even the kids. It might not be exactly up to your standards, but that’s okay. Just cross it off the to-do list and consider it done.
4. Focus on good enough, not perfection. Find time away from the chaos. Let go of what you can and focus on good enough, not perfection, and make time to rest. If you normally spend all weekend doing household chores, try to carve out some quiet time for yourself or spend quality time with friends or family. Focus for an hour or two on yourself to let your mind clear. It’s ok not to be perfect.
5. Give yourself grace. It’s only the first couple of weeks. There will be more time to establish routines, make healthier lunches, get the kids to bed earlier, and make sure school uniforms are in the dryer.
6. Have some fun. It’s a lot of work to get the kids back to school. Make sure to add in a little fun. Instead of stressing over getting the kids to school on time in the morning, enjoy that time together in the car and have some fun by singing along to your favorite songs.
Jumping back into the swing of things can seem overwhelming, but you can do this! Remember to go easy on yourself and the kids. Transitioning from summer vacation can be just as stressful for kids as it is for you. Try to focus on the bigger picture and not the nitty gritty. The kids will be okay with good enough.
Looking for more tips and guidance? JFS Orlando’s counselors are specialized in many areas of mental health and are here to support you. Telehealth counseling appointments available! Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurances are accepted. Sliding scale available for those who do not have insurance. Call (407) 644-7671 or complete our online form to request an appointment today!
Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW is the Clinical Director and a licensed clinical social worker at JFS Orlando. Ashlyn has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient community based mental health, inpatient/admission psychiatric hospital, substance abuse/DUI, dialysis/medical, and in home/office outpatient therapy.