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Taking the Stress out of Back to School

September 5, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Today's blog is written by Julie Adams, Policy Analyst at the BC Ministry of Health.

Julie focuses on mental health promotion and works to improve the mental health of all British Columbians; including those that are currently living with a mental illness and those who are currently not.

Thanks for being our Guest Blogger Julie!

The sound of school bells ringing in September makes many parents salivate like Pavlov's dogs. Only we're not anticipating food, we’re anticipating the stress than often accompanies the return to the daily routine of getting kids out the door on time, juggling after school activities and helping with homework.

Being organized and having a plan for you and your family can help create a sense of empowerment and reduce the stress associated with having too much to do and too little time to do it all in. Here are a few tips that might help:

  • Meal plan - Knowing what you're going to eat and having the right foods on hand to prepare it saves you trips to the grocery store and puts money in your pocket. Cooking and eating with friends and family as often as possible also provides a way to connect and share culture and traditions together.
  • Recipes and Tips for School Lunches - Having lunches ready to grab and go eliminates the rush to make them in the limited time available in the morning. Plus, home-made lunches tend to be healthier, cheaper and reflect better portion sizing that those purchased from a restaurant.
  • Help your kid's school stuff be organized - This could include things like keeping the necessary supplies easily accessible, colour-coding their binders and notebooks by subject, accordion files for important papers and designating specific times and spaces for studying and completing school assignments.
  • Remember calendars? Paper versions are still a good idea- post one in an area where everyone can see it and mark events on it (in pen even!). That way everyone in the family can see what’s going on that day/week and can prepare as needed.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff - figure out what works for your family and don't compare yourself to other families. Trying to keep up with the Joneses is never a good idea!

Being organized may require some extra work and/or planning up front, but in the long run, it will actually save you and your family time. While nothing can add extra hours to the day, using your time wisely may leave you with a few moments for something fun, like going to bed early.

Resources & Links:

Fresh Ideas for School Lunches
Brown Bag Lunch Ideas that Everyone Will Like

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