5 Self-Care Hacks for Back-To-School
Are you ready for a fresh start to the school year? Feeling ready begins with preparation and intentional self-care. According to the National Institute of Health self-care is defined as “taking the time to do the things that help you live well, and improve both your physical and mental health.” Proper self-care can help both you and your family cope better with daily stressors and move into this school year with greater ease. Below are some easy self-care hacks to try this fall:
Create a Morning Routine Worth Jumping Out of Bed For
Let’s be honest…it can be all too easy to hit the snooze button. Having a consistent (and realistic) wake-up time every day is a great place to begin. Recent research has shown that having a steady, consistent morning routine can lower stress, increase productivity at work or school, and even boost energy! The key is solidifying a morning routine that works for you. This could include drinking a glass of water, taking vitamins, and spending 10-15 minutes stretching or meditating. If time allows, exercise is another great option to get those endorphins flowing and start the day right.
Tip: If you find yourself bored with the same routine every day consider a “morning menu” with various activities in the lineup. This could include a mix of things like: a yoga routine, journaling, going for a walk, or even listening to a podcast. The options are endless!
Aim to Go to Sleep at the Same Time Every Night
The circadian rhythm refers to the body’s internal clock which aligns with the cycle of day and night. Getting enough sleep is essential to feeling your best. Going to bed at the same time each night helps reinforce this circadian rhythm. Taking time to sit down and look at what activities you and your family have each week can help you figure out a realistic bedtime for everyone. Getting in 7-8 hours or more of sleep on a consistent basis can help you have more energy for every area of your life. Kids with consistent bed times have also been found to perform better in school!
Tip: To reinforce tech boundaries it can be beneficial to purchase a traditional alarm clock instead of using a phone. Having a set “wind down” from any TV or any electronics 1-2 hours before sleep can also help lower cortisol levels and calm the mind and body to a more rested state for bedtime.
Create a Menu of Fun, Healthy Breakfasts to Choose From
Many would argue that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and we agree! Creating a list of healthy, easy breakfasts to choose from can make it easier to refrain from grabbing for those more processed items like a donut or pastry. Dieticians ideally recommend a healthy mix of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs to keep both you and your kids satisfied. One easy choice for a nutrient rich smoothie on-the-go is Vibrant Health’s Max Vibrance. Packed with 20 grams of plant protein, multivitamins, and probiotics, this protein powder packs a punch. Available in creamy vanilla, Max Vibrance is perfect for the whole family.
For a quick and easy Max Vibrance smoothie recipe with just a few ingredients click here.
Some Under 5-Minute Meal Ideas
Tip: Because last minute mornings do happen, having minimally processed granola bars and pieces of fruit such as an apple or banana on hand are also great back-up options when the clock is ticking and it is time to head to school!
Be Intentional to Plan in Times of Connection
When schedules ramp up it can be easy to let time with friends and loved ones be crowded out by homework, work, and after school activities. Having a game plan for seeing friends is well-proven to boost both mental health and a feeling of connectedness. Studies show that when you feel supported by others it can create calming hormonal changes that help you to better manage stress. Planning in a monthly girl’s night, going out to dinner with family, or even planning a special outing can give you something to look forward to and help you to feel less alone. It can also be beneficial to have intentional play dates and outings for your kids and teens outside of their day-to-day school life for added fun.
Tip: Can’t meet in person? Facetiming, calling, or planning a Zoom catch-up can also help to foster feelings of connectedness even if you don’t live in the same place or can’t connect in real time.
Plan Margin and Rest Into Your Weekly Schedule
Life moves fast and having margin in life is important to be able to recharge and recalibrate. Margin refers to unscheduled time that you can choose to use however you need to day to day. It could look like scheduling some blank space from activities to do a mid-week house clean up, get some laundry done, or even simply read a book with a great cup of tea. Scheduling in margin between commitments or throughout the week can give you and your family some needed rest and self-care to move through the week with greater ease.
Tip: Make a list of you or your family’s top priorities for this specific season. Knowing your priorities gives you a much better grid for what to say yes and no to as different requests for your time come up. Things like waking up 30 minutes earlier can also help create more breathing room and less rushing.
It’s time to get excited for a fresh school year! Consider these small self-care steps for you and your family as you map out an intentional plan. Pouring into your own cup daily can help you and your family navigate the stressors of life and find deeper joy and connectedness as you head into a new season.