Back-to-school is around the corner. Whether you've been prepared since early June or you're a last-minute shopper, there are some small steps that you can take to de-stress about the entire process. There's a lot that goes into the preparation for back-to-school. From obtaining the list of class essentials like pens, paper and notebooks to re-organizing the entire family's schedule, we've compiled 10 things to help you de-stress from the on-going list of to-dos when preparing for back-to-school. No matter if you're looking for some advice when it comes down to how to easily purchase items or how to get some much needed quiet time to unwind before the crazy, read ahead for some solid inspiration.
10 BUY IN ADVANCE
Ensuring you've purchased your children's items in advance can relieve so much stress for back-to-school time. The last thing a stressed out parent and/or guardian needs to do is rush, like everyone else, to the department stores a week before school's opening. It's important to be prepared. If this means getting your child's backpack at Costco a month before their class return, or using their sibling's hand-me-down lunch pale from the year previous, so be it. Be strategic. You'll feel great about this type of preparation once you realize how many people leave this to the last minute.
9 DON'T PURCHASE ITEMS YOU WON'T USE
With that said, over-buying is very common for the parent and/or guardian. Yes, back-to-school is a very nerve-inducing yet exciting time for the child. But it also can be an exciting (and often relieving) time for the parent and/or guardian. Sometimes, they can over-buy. They can purchase items that are unneeded like: stacks of note pads and multiple cases of pencil crayons. Save the cash and your stress by buying the essentials that you know your child will need for back-to-school. Wait until they're actually in-class to purchase the other items the teacher(s) specifies.
8 PICK OUT THE WEEK'S OUTFITS
Organizing your 'life' before back-to-school is vital to reduce your stress. Don't panic! Even the mundane can be arranged to make life easier. Like: choosing your child's outfit for the entire week. We suggest purchasing an inexpensive shoe hanger with 5-7 slots. Then, both you and your child, age permitting, can choose their outfits for the week.
Once folded into their slot (first for Monday, second for Tuesday and so on), they won't have to stress as to what they're going to wear for the day ahead each morning.
7 SET THE ALARM EARLY
In order to prepare well for the first day of school and early mornings to come, we recommend setting your alarm early a few weeks before the first day of school. In order to prepare well, it's important to set a routine so it doesn't seem so much as a shock to the system when the days do come. Setting the alarm to your new wake up time can be ideal for you and your children. Not only will they be able to ease into their routines easier, but it will relieve some anxiety and stress for the parent and/or caretaker.
6 MEAL PREP
Preparing meals ahead of time is essential for back to school. Yes, there will be weeks where you are throwing your child's lunch together or handing them a $20 bill to purchase a lunch from their cafeteria, if they have the option; however, if you're cautious of what they intake, preparing meals is a great tip to relieve stress for the coming days.
Whether you prepare all meals the Sunday evening with the family or wait for the mid-week to put some cute bento-boxes together, preparing meals is a great way to avoid meal stress associated with going back to school.
5 ARRANGE FOR KID'S PICK-UP
Before the school year begins, it's important to arrange any after-school pick ups so that the children are aware and the other adults are prepared. With this in mind, it's ok (and encouraged) to arrange a pick up for a time you need to have a moment for yourself. If you work from home or in-office, it's still important to give yourself a break between work life and home life. If it's feasible, arrange a pick up on a day during the week where you can get stuff done alone. Yes, alone... with no one. This will relieve stress from your every day life, for sure.
4 BOOK A CLASS
Speaking of 'me-time', we recommend you arrange an hour of your week, minimum, to choose a class. Whether this is a workout class or a pottery class, you need some mental break from your week. So, in preparation of back-to-school, make sure you've arranged a class for yourself, the parent/caretaker, in order to relieve the school stress that's sure to come your way. Yes, it's important to make sure the children's things are prepared and organized for their first day back to school. But the parent and/or guardian also needs to make sure they're making enough time for themselves.
3 GO TO APPOINTMENTS BEFORE SCHOOL
Appointments can build up quite quickly. During the school year, it seems as though weeknights and weekends fly by. So, it's important to get as many dental and doctor appointments done with before the year begins. Of course there will be the odd appointment here and there, but for those yearly routine check ups and eye appointments, we recommend you book them before the summer's through.
You'll thank your organized self later in the year. We promise.
2 TAKE THE WEEK OFF
If taking the first week of school off is feasible, do it. This may not be the best, financial suggestion; however it can be helpful in order to ensure the week goes smoothly for the children and the parents/caretakers. Whether you've saved your vacation days up to take this week off, or you're able to call in sick, this option is absolutely valid if you'd like to ensure a week of organization and extra support.
1 BOOK VACATION BEFOREHAND
There are some incredible deals that you and your family can get when you book a family vacation last minute. Come March Break, why not get those cheap flights the night before you plan to leave? Well, this can be quite stressful. It may save you money, but by booking vacations far in advance can save you anxiety and time. It may even be more affordable than you expect. We recommend you book your family vacations before the school year begins so that everyone involved is prepared.