by Kristin Kuiper, LMSW, MSW
With children heading back to school, and families reorienting themselves to this routine, I’ve seen an increase in parents who are sorting through this transition in therapy. Lately, I’ve spent time with women who are preparing for the stress that comes with managing their households during the school year. Increases in anxiety, frustration, stress, along with feeling more overwhelmed that what is normal are common issues for primary caretakers in families this time of year.
We’ve been focusing lately on transitioning children--launching them into the school year successfully--now it’s time for me to share a couple of insights for parents. Here are some tips that will help you begin your fall in a way that leaves you feeling good about yourself.
- Get organized: Having a master family calendar is a helpful way of avoiding over booking and double booking activities, which increases stress levels. Combine children’s school calendars and your family’s social calendar into one that the family can review together.
- Take care of yourself: In order to stay healthy, remember the essentials: enough sleep, adequate exercise and good nutrition. Take a closer look at each of these areas of your life. Is there an area that can use extra attention or improvement? Do you know what the first steps to improvement are? Begin implementing some of these changes as your children head back to school and your calendar changes a bit. Taking care of yourself is the first step in being able to take care of your family well.
- Remember your passions: With an upsurge of commitments, it’s easy to feel like you are operating on autopilot. Remember to ask yourself: what gives me passion and energy? Allow yourself the time and thought to explore this. How might you incorporate some of these things into your day or your week? Accessing joy and allowing yourself to “play” will help replenish the energy that can so easily be absorbed into the daily routine.