Keep Your Cool Now That the Kids are Back in School

It’s time to say goodbye to sand, beach and weekend barbecues. Back to carpooling, soccer practice, study schedules… ahh! This exciting yet hectic time of year can push stress levels to warp speed. But as always, we’ve got you covered with tips to help keep the back-to-school stress to a minimum.

Stress less

Create a direction for your day
Create meaningful goals to guide your days that contribute to your bigger picture. Since we know we may not get to accomplish everything that we want to, prioritize your goals to ensure you complete everything that absolutely needs to be done for the day.

Let go
If we could steer the course of our days there would be no such thing as traffic and lines at Starbucks would be nonexistent. But the reality is that most aspects of life are simply out of our control. Learn to accept what we can’t control, and let your worries over those things go. Instead, focus your energy on the things that you do have control over.

Realize that you can’t do it all
Do you begin the day with an enormous task list and find yourself only halfway through it by the day’s end? That’s perfectly okay. There will always be one more spot that needs to be cleaned, one more email that needs to be written before going to bed. At the end of the day sometimes we need to tell ourselves, “You have done enough today.”

Learn to say “no”
Your time is a precious commodity and it must be protected. There’s just no way that you can accomplish your own goals if you are constantly completing tasks for others. Before you commit to doing something, ask yourself if it’s realistic to add to your work load. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for what you just don’t have the time to do.

Shut it down
Set a cut-off time each day for working and using technology. Shut down your laptop and TV and give your mind and body the time needed to unwind before falling asleep. If you like to go to sleep by 11 pm, set a 10 pm cut-off time. You may find that you sleep a bit more restfully and become more motivated to complete your day’s work in the hours before your cut-off time.

 

Take time for yourself every day

It isn’t hard to forget about your own needs in between making sure the kids have eaten and that your deadlines at work have been met. But it’s crucial to make sure that you’re taking time for yourself.

 

Click through below for a few ideas for mental health moments throughout the day:

Kids’ Mental Health Matters

During back to school time, parents make sure to get all of the necessary immunizations and physical health check-ups kids need, but ensuring that your child is mentally healthy is just as important.

If you notice any changes in your child’s behavior, it could be an indication of a mental health issue. Warning signs to keep an eye out for that interfere with his or her daily activities include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family members
  • Avoidance or disinterest in activities
  • Avoidance of eating, or weight loss
  • Low self-esteem
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Drastic personality changes

Keep an open line of communication with your child. Don’t be afraid to ask children how they feel with direct questions like, “Are you sad?,” or open-ended questions like “What was the best part of your day?” Make sure you REALLY listen. Read more about what to do if you think your child is struggling with a mental health issue here.

 

Guest Blogger:

Jasmine Berry

Communication, Education & Advocacy Coordinator

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County

Stress in the Land of Mommy (or Daddy)? …Follow the Mellow Tips Road

yello brickChildren bring countless blessings into our lives: joy, love, pride, and the many other gifts derived from the bond between parent and child. However, the commitment and responsibility of nurturing and raising another human being from infancy to adulthood can also cause an enormous amount of stress and anxiety. Though each mother may experience a range of unique stressors, many demands of motherhood are nearly universal. Here are a few practical steps to keep unwarranted stress away:

1. Take Time For Yourself

First and foremost, remember to take care of yourself. Flight attendants ask you to secure your own facemask before helping others because you need to be healthy and able to care for your loved ones. Plan a girls night; take a bubble bath; go for a spa day; meet friends for lunch; take an after dinner walk—whether you take a whole day or just a few minutes, you need and deserve a little time to yourself.

2. Keep Lists and Get Organized

With soccer practice, grocery shopping, ballet recital, and a visit to Grandma’s house all on the agenda, it is easy to forget the little tasks that may slip through the cracks. Lists can be helpful when planning weekly meals and tracking all the errands that need to be made. These lists can eliminate multiple trips to the store and help you keep running around to a minimum. Lists help you stay on task and avoid forgetting important responsibilities. Plus, it always feels good to cross something off your list after completing it. (Save room in your purse and eliminate the paper—there are great Apps for making lists.)

3. Don’t Forget Romance

The relationship between you and your children is one of the most important and greatest bonds. You also have friends to stay in touch with, employers/employees to keep happy, and parents to care for. With all the relationship upkeep, it is easy to forget your significant other. Remember that romance is an incredible stress reducer and your partner can be an excellent source of comfort and support during overwhelming moments.

4. Know When to Say No

You are a super mom! But it’s ok to admit that you do not have super powers. It is impossible to be two places at once or accomplish more than one person could ever do. Consider declining favors asked of you, reschedule events, or delegate tasks. Having trouble saying “no,” instead try saying “I’m sorry, that just doesn’t work for me.”

5. Seek Support

There is no need to do it all by yourself. Your partner, family, friends, neighbors, and even your older kids can be great resources in times of need. There are also cheap and handy services that can assist in daily chores—use a grocery delivery service, shop online, or every so often call a professional cleaning service. Remind yourself that you can seek support and shouldn’t have to do it all by yourself. Mothers everywhere sympathize with your hefty responsibilities—reach out and ask for help.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all those wonderful, hard working moms and caretakers out there. None of us would be here without you!

 

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