The major change in routine in August and September for kids and parents makes for an exciting — and sometimes stressful — time of year. If stress becomes chronic, it negatively impacts overall health. Not only that, it can impair a person’s ability to learn and remember facts as well.
The providers at St. Vincent Hospital have these tips for navigating the potential stressors of the fall season and enjoying a happy and healthy return to school:
The best offense is often a good defense. Start the school-year sleep schedule now, with an earlier regular bedtime a few weeks before the first morning bell rings.
Wake up early and rested, and power your family’s day with good nutrition. With hectic mornings, time-savers are key. How about make-ahead egg and veggie mini quiches? Try overnight oats, almond butter on whole grain toast, a smoothie or protein-rich yogurt with fruit.
Create a calm and efficient space for homework and study.
Practice routines. Get books and supplies in the backpacks and lay out clothing the night before. Plan school lunches for the week ahead. Know the bus schedule.
Make time for family to communicate daily about homework, projects, sports and extracurricular events. Life may still be very busy and scheduled, but good communication can minimize surprises.
Finally, now’s the time for a well-child checkup, or affordable sports physical, before school is back in session. See your family medical provider to review these and other stress-management techniques, assess your health and your family’s health, and be ready for the active, fun fall season ahead.