With the change of pace September brings, shopping for school supplies isn't the only way to get ready for the new season. The return to a busy routine and communal environment can take a serious toll on the health and wellness of everyone in the family. Back to school stress impacts your family's diet and sleep routine, causing stress on the body, which is linked to daytime fatigue, the common cold, headaches and tummy aches.
To avoid getting sick and to minimize stress, making simple lifestyle changes during the month of September will help you and your kids ease into the back to school routine.
These are my top five tips for making a smooth transition from a laid back summer schedule into the busy back to school routine:
1. Create a Routine
As a family, start eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks around the times your child will eat when school is in session. Not only will you have more bonding time with your children before they are off to school, they will also get used to self-regulating their eating habits. To ease back into early mornings, make sure your child starts going to bed and getting up around the same time every day. Establishing a routine will help them stay alert at school.
2. Technology Down Time
Turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime and replace that downtime with a book or hands-on activity. It can be difficult to tear yourself and the kids away from checking social media or watching your favourite Netflix series before bed, but eliminating screen time will improve your quality of sleep. Reading for a half hour before bed helps the brain to "wind down", giving you more energy throughout the day.
3. Regular Sports and Activities
Plan morning activities outside the house on the weekends during the first few weeks back at school. This helps children to not only create a routine, but also reminds them what it's like to get up and go early in the morning. Getting your children accustomed to early morning activities will make those school mornings easier for everyone.
4. Nurture Independence
Having your child manage things on their own helps to build confidence and independence at school. Encourage them to help make dinner, plan a weekend adventure, regularly clean their bedroom, or take on a new chore. Giving your child responsibilities helps them get re-accustomed to school activities like homework and extracurricular programs.
5. Make Supplements Part of Your Daily Routine
In the fall, our ability to synthesize vitamin D from the sun decreases as the summer ends and we spend more time indoors. Vitamin D deficiencies can hinder your immune stsyem, making you more susceptible to colds and flus.
As it takes approximately three months to increase vitamin D levels, supplementing in the fall will help prevent deficiency in the winter. Taking probiotics during the colder months have also shown to reduce the incidence of fever, cough, runny nose, and the use of antibiotics.
Implementing these small changes will help ease you and your children back into the busy school season, minimizing the chance of illness brought on by stress. Whether or not you or someone in your family is heading back to school, this season seems to be the time that everyone's schedule gets busier. Staying healthy is of utmost importance during this season to help your family start the year off on a positive and successful note!
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