As the promise of the next season wafts in on the cooler breeze of September, children and teenagers place new notebooks and pencils into backpacks, looking sharp in their carefully thought-out first day of school outfits and excitedly march into the next chapters of their lives.
I always find this time of year to be bittersweet. I do love the long luxurious days of summer, but I find the beginning of a new school year exhilarating. Although my kids would never admit it, I think they do too. It's a chance to start anew, a clean slate. But transitioning from one season to another can be stressful regardless of how much we prepare ourselves and our families for the change.
All too often we are so focused on getting our children prepared for the new school year, we forget to prepare for the effect this transition will have on us. We help them with their goals and plans and neglect to make any for ourselves.
So what type of things should we strive for this new school year for ourselves? Well, I'm glad you asked... here are some ideas:
- Incorporate some stress-relieving activities within your day or week. Take a yoga class or a dance class. Be sure to set time aside for yourself to do something fun that is going to make you feel great. How about taking an art class or ceramics with a friend?
- Take some time in the morning for yourself. Mornings can be chaotic with kids and parents getting ready to go to school and work. Why not wake up a half hour earlier and enjoy a few quiet moments for yourself? Drink your coffee or tea outside, meditate, or just spend the time appreciating all the wonderful blessings in your life. The point is to get yourself centered, and start your day grounded.
- Plan some activities for your family to do together in the future. It's always fun to look forward to something, so put something on your horizon. Plan a visit to a local farm to pick apples, or maybe visit a zoo.
- Line up a babysitter if you don't already have one. We give so much to our kids each and everyday but it's important to have some adult time together with your spouse. It's a lot easier to plan a night out when you have a babysitter ready to help. My kids love our babysitter, and will often ask us to go out so they can spend time with him.. SURE!!!
- Make some gentle goals for yourself. I say gentle goals because they shouldn't be ones that are going to add stress to your life. Nothing like, run 10 miles a week or read 10 novels... How about trying some healthy new recipes or teaching your kids how to fold laundry :) or keeping a journal?
You deserve it.