Heading back to school can be a stressful time. There’s so much to think about – from buying school supplies to getting into the school routine again. It can add up quickly and before you realize it, you’re completely overwhelmed.
Excedrin Migraine ran a study and found that 69% of parents are looking forward to school starting again. I don’t blame them. Even though the back to school season is a lot of work for me because I homeschool, I look forward to the normal schedule and less-crazy children. How about you? But at the same time, 44% of parents expect to get a headache. And the back to school routine is one of the top reasons for headaches, according to parents. Do you agree?
As a homeschooling mom with four children, our back to school routine may be a little more flexible than some, but it’s no less busy. I’ve had to plan our school curriculum and order books. Shop for school supplies. And with Nathan in 5th grade and Emily in first, plus planning activities to keep the little boys busy, figuring out a regular school schedule is more important than ever. And I still have to schedule extracurricular activities, room for field trips and visiting friends, and run the household. Oh and hopefully somewhere, somehow, I can fit in blogging. (I’m still working on that one!)
That can be a lot of stress. But the good thing is, I’ve learned a few tips to help with that.
Five tips for stressing less this season:
1) Write out your to-do list and prioritize. Do you really have to get the pantry organized before school starts? (I’m speaking to myself there!) Writing it all down can be helpful. I have a favorite to-do list app on my phone that has been fantastic. (I’ll share that later.) Then prioritize what is really important. For example, I have to organize our school area before we begin, but I don’t have to clean out the freezer. Finish the important things first.
2) Start planning your weekly schedule. Do your children have activities on certain days? I recommend writing it down on a large calendar in a central location for the whole family to see. For my family, Joshua has preschool Monday-Thursday and Nathan has karate Tuesday and Thursday. Knowing this, I can schedule Emily’s bi-monthly horse back riding lessons on a day when it’s not quite as crazy, like Wednesday afternoon. We may also add in a tumbling and fitness class for homeschoolers at Nathan’s karate school too. Friday is going to be our visiting day as that’s our least busy day of the week. See? It’s not so bad once you know your schedule.
3) Try a practice run the week before. This is our last week of summer vacation and I’ll have the kids go to bed a little earlier and run a stricter morning schedule, with chores finished by a certain time, etc. This helps ease into the school schedule.
4) Prepare the night before. I know it’s been said a thousand times, but I have to say it again because it’s so valuable. Get the kids’ clothes laid out, backpacks ready, lunches made or at least ready to prepare the night before. For homeschoolers, there are still things we can do ahead of time. I make sure to defrost any meat for tomorrow’s meal and I write out my to do list for the next morning the night before. This really increases my efficiency, especially since I’m not a morning person.
5) Take time for yourself! I know, I know – what time, right? But you can’t forget yourself. I have so many things on my to do list right now, it probably numbers in the hundreds, but that’s OK. I still get up at a decent hour, take time to enjoy my coffee and read for a few minutes before doing my 1 mile workout and pilates. Since I’ve been doing this the past month, I’ve been much happier and healthier. Or maybe you should just hit that snooze button for once and sleep in. Remember, a healthy happy mom means a healthy happy family!
Following those tips have greatly reduced back to school stress. Even so, there are days when we need a little extra help and that’s where Excedrin Migraine comes in. As you shop for back to school supplies for your kids, don’t forget to add Excedrin Migraine to your list!
This year, Excedrin is helping our schools. For every purchase of Excedrin, you can enter for a chance to win $10,000 for your child’s school. And with 85% of parents who think their schools need new or upgraded supplies, chances are your school is one of them!
To enter the “Help Your School Excel with Excedrin” sweepstakes and have the chance to be one of the five lucky winners, parents simply need to visit Facebook.com/Excedrinn. (Promotion runs 8/15 to 9/15. Visit the link for details and rules.)
2 lucky winners will receive a Back-to-School migraine-free kit from Exedrin Migraine, including:
2013-2014 academic planner and pen, a magnetic memo board and an aluminum tumbler