The lazy, unstructured days of summer are almost gone. Routines can help families ease back into the more demanding schedules of the school year. Here are some helpful tips on how to make routines that work for your family and support your healthy lifestyle.
1. Alleviate the stress of a busy week day by starting your routine the night before. Try to use your dinner prep to cut extra vegetables for the next day’s school lunches and set aside leftovers for reheating in the morning. Here are some great ideas.
2. Create a roadmap to clear the way for a stress-free morning. Are your kids distracted by television? Does your youngest child have a hard time choosing what to wear? Do you tend to oversleep? Here are some great ways to help your family navigate a busy morning. Hint: It helps to stay positive and give your children lots of praise and encouragement!
3. Use active transportation to get to school and work. With supervision, children can start learning good pedestrian safety habits by age seven. With coaching and route preparation, they can walk to school on their own, or with a buddy, by age 10. Walking to school can help them develop healthy and active habits that will last them a lifetime. Click here for safety tips for kids. When it comes to getting to and from work, incorporate exercise into your daily routine by walking, taking the bus, or riding your bike to work. If you take the bus, get off one or two stops early to arrive energized and refreshed. Read more about the benefits of active commuting.
4. Prevent the spread of colds and other contagious illnesses. Pesky germs lurk in backpacks and water bottles. Teach your kids to keep their school stuff clean and help them establish routines around unpacking their backpacks and lunches. Together with regular handwashing, these habits can make a big difference to your family’s year-round health.
5. Fit more physical activity in by making it a habit. Parents can help by showing their children tricks to be more active on their way to school, at school and at home. It’s all about looking for extra ways to keep moving to counteract the effects of too much screen time and sitting.
6. Enjoy dinner together as a family. There are so many benefits to shared family meals that it’s worth the extra time and effort involved in planning for them. Kids can learn cooking tips by helping with prep, all the while sharing the highlights of their day. Family dinners can be a time to chat, relax and disconnect from mobile devices. These tips can help you make dinnertime a fun event your children will look forward to at the end of a busy day.
7. Stick to stable bedtime routines. Sleep is essential to well-being, and bedtime routines help ensure your child is well-rested and ready to tackle the new day. These ideas can help the whole family establish good sleep habits.
These tips are a few ways to build supportive routines that help set the tone for positive and well-organized week days. Are you ready for the transition from summer vacation back to school and work schedules? How does your family manage busy week days?