The end of summer can be bittersweet for many kids. Free time will soon be limited, but they'll be back in class learning and spending time with friends. As a parent, you know that the back-to-school transition can be rather stressful and sometimes difficult. Between getting back into a healthy sleep routine, getting lunches packed the night before and making sure there's enough time to have fun and do homework after school, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed in August and September. While all of these tasks will consume your mind, you might forget that your kids may be feeling nervous and stressed during this time as well.
"The end of summer and the beginning of a new school year can be a stressful time for parents and children," psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD told the American Psychological Association. "While trying to manage work and the household, parents can sometimes overlook their children's feelings of nervousness or anxiety as school begins. Working with your children to build resilience and manage their emotions can be beneficial for the psychological health of the whole family."
Don't let the beginning of the school year bog the family down. Here are a few ways to cope with back-to-school stress:
1. Prioritize a normal sleep schedule
You and your children both should get back into the habit of going to bed and waking up early. According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-aged children need between 7 and 11 hours of sleep every night, and adults need between 7 and 9. To ensure everyone is ready for the new school year, start using this sleep schedule a few weeks prior.
2. Be proactive about planning
The beginning of the school year can be exhausting. Between the classes, extracurricular activities, after school play dates and more, your life is going to be a bit more chaotic than it was during the summer. To make sure you keep everything in order without going crazy, consider using calendars and planners and setting notifications on your phone so you always know what's going on.
3. Follow a plant-based diet
Stress eating is a behavior that can cause you to gain weight and can ultimately lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Unfortunately, those who tend to get stressed and eat often choose unhealthy options that are high in sugars, fats and processed ingredients. Instead of stress eating away your health, encourage the family to start following a plant-based eating regimen. The Hallelujah Diet provides an abundance of beneficial fuel for the body in the form of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more.
If you're worried that your family will run out of options for meals while following a plant-based diet, fear not. There are hundreds of different ways to utilize raw fruits, vegetables, organic grains, nuts and seeds that the whole family will enjoy. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert inspiration, look through our database of plant-based recipes. Your kids and spouse will love this dietary change of pace just in time for the new school year!