Believe it or not, it’s not just our kids who experience anxiety about going back to school. Many parents who have made the transition with their families from the summer months to the school months in one form or another will experience the “Back to School Blues.”
I define this as that familiar feeling of anxiety that shows up after an ease-filled and effortless summer, reminding us of the endless “to-do lists” and the overbearing schedules that await us around the corner.
Back-to-school doesn’t have to be so arduous and more often than not, the emphasis we place on the pressures to come is far greater then what actually awaits us. It is helpful to infuse a little of that summer ease throughout the whole year so that we can enjoy the moments without feeling weighed down and off-balance.
Take the beginning of the school calendar as an opportunity to refresh and refuel. Avoid any unnecessary stress by creating a renewed sense of organization and order. Having a bunch of to-do items in your head can create a feeling of anxiety. Make lists, make plans, take note of important dates in your calendar.
Anything that you can do to save yourself a headache or a potential oversight in the future will work here. The goal is to free your mind so that you can participate in the pleasures of each moment without constantly thinking of daily details and deadlines you may be missing.
Go Easy On Yourself
I’m not suggesting that we should excuse ourselves from commitments or set an example of tardiness for our children, however, a missed soccer practice or arriving a little late for an extracurricular activity is well worth it if the alternative would cost us our inner peace.
I have learned however that sometimes it is necessary to miss part of an event or skip it altogether when making it happen would otherwise cause stress and uneasiness for myself and for my kids. As time goes by, I become realistic of my boundaries and those of my children and take precautions to keep us all in check and focused on what is important.
Refrain From Over Scheduling
We are all guilty of doing this. As parents, we want the best for children.
We have been conditioned to believe that by exposing them to myriad activities throughout the week, we are ensuring them a future of success and happiness. Unless your child is a willing participant in an activity of their own choosing or is engaged on their own terms, your efforts may prove to be counterproductive. The pressures of rushing your children from one activity to the next and overcrowding their schedules causes unnecessary stress for both you and your child and robs you from the opportunity to focus on things that light you up.
Make Time For Fun
We all inevitably search to create success and consistent growth, for ourselves and for our children. We are, after all, human beings. Make time for yourself and your child to engage in activities that bring you joy and free you up to take delight in the moments. Once a week release your timelines, your responsibilities and all of the restrictions you have placed upon your day and allow the space and time necessary to unwind, release and bond with your child.
The renewed sense of connection you feel with your child, coupled with your restored mindfulness will be the gifts that keep on giving to you throughout the week and throughout your life. When we make a decision to chill out and regroup, our entire family senses that energy and follows our lead. Bring a little of that summer vibe with you into the months and enjoy the benefits.