Back to School: Part 2

You have planned and prepared for back to school, organized your home, and created schedules for everyone. Now what do you do? Taking time for yourself while taking care of everybody else is a balancing act. It takes time, practice, and a tweak here or there, but it can be done!

Whether you work, homeschool, or send your kids to private or public school – here are a few ideas to help you have a healthier you!

  • Use a large decorative paper calendar to keep your family on track.
    • Hang it on a wall or the side of your refrigerator.
    • Color-code each person and write their activities and appointments in their color of marker or pen. Now everyone can see at a glance who has something coming up and when.
  • Simplify that morning routine as much as possible. Do whatever you can the evening before. Believe me, it pays off the next day!
    • Determine and set out clothes and shoes for each person. Do a quick accountability check for those able to pick out their own outfits.
    • Prepare part of breakfast, snacks, and lunches.
    • Get dinner ready in your crockpot, casserole dish, or Insta-pot.
    • Pre-make a salad, sauce, or soup.
    • If your kids go away for school, make sure all homework is completed, checked off, and in that backpack ready to go!
  • Weekends can be busy or relaxing, depending on your family’s lifestyle. Have you tried ordering your groceries online for a quick and easy pick up? How about including regular visits to your local Farmers Market as a family for a fun experience?
  • Take a little time and effort each weekend to prepare ahead healthy snacks for the week.
    • Get others involved and share stories and thoughts as you work together as a team.
    • Clean and cut up veggies, wash fruit, and portion out granola, mixed nuts, and healthy treats in snack bags or containers.
  • Have a regular family time once a week. Anything to just hang out and have some fun together.
    • Go for a family walk or play a sport together.
    • Play a board game or card game.
    • Do a puzzle together.
    • Have a coloring or arts and crafts time night.
    • Watch a movie.
    • Read a book. Make it a series! Stop at the end of a certain number of chapters to leave everyone wondering what will happen next.

Have fun together often – and laugh together every day! You know what they say about all work and no play. Is someone in the family good at telling jokes? Great at making up funny puns? Encourage them to give everyone a break from the seriousness of life and lighten up everyone’s hearts and spirits with a giggle or two. Over dinner, in the car, as everyone is getting ready for bed. It doesn’t matter when if it is not disruptive and gets everyone smiling and happy.

Now you are probably wondering, what about the time to myself? I haven’t forgotten about you! I have found that once you have the foundation established, you can find natural spaces for some self-care.

MardelMaybe you are an early morning person and can rise before everyone else for some quiet time. Time to read a short devotional. Grab that cup  of comforting coffee or hot tea and pick a spot in your home or on your patio where you can keep your Bible and books, light a candle, and enjoy starting your day with the Lord.

 

Or perhaps at night after everyone has gone to bed and the house has quieted down is best for you. I did this for many years while my husband worked second shift. Once the kids were tucked into bed I had the rest of the evening to myself. I could watch a movie. Listen to music and read a book. Browse through a magazine. And spend time in prayer.

You could go for a walk in your neighborhood early before everyone gets up, in the evening when your spouse is home to stay with the kids, or mid-day if your work schedule permits. Or do a 30-minute workout at home. It is refreshing and invigorating while it relaxes and energizes you at the same time.

Whether you homeschool or work, it is important that you create a daily space for yourself.  Just 30 minutes is all it takes! Studies show this gives us healthier bodies, attitudes, and minds. So, experiment and see which time and activity works best for you. Then enjoy some regular peace and quiet that will help make you a better you!

 


Paula Smith

I love God, family, friends, and encouraging people. I enjoy helping others in the education world from my experience in my job and from when I homeschooled my kids. As a wife, Mom, soon to be Grandma, and the Education and Homeschool Web Merchandiser, I hope my blog articles are helpful to you as we live life together.

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