As summer comes to a close, one event marks the beginning stages of autumn: back to school. The back-to-school season brings change for many of us — including students, parents, and educators — and prompts us to adjust our routines. Luckily, you can prepare beforehand to make sure you’re ready for the school months!
So as you say goodbye to sleeping in, long summer days, and pool days, activate your new routine seamlessly with these ten tips:
1. Prep Low Stress, High-Value Meals
Meal prepping isn’t a novel concept, but it’s sure to make your back-to-school transition a whole lot smoother. Especially on those weekday nights when you come home ready to hit the couch (we’ve all been there), you’ll thank yourself for preparing meals in advance. But saving time isn’t the only benefit that meal prepping provides. Meal prepping can lead to better eating habits, particularly by driving a higher food variety in your diet.
You’re likely to be more mindful about your meals when you meal prep, resulting in more fulfilling and enjoyable meals. And thanks to the popularity of meal prepping in recent years, you’ll find lists on lists of creative and delicious meal prep ideas with a quick Google search.
2. Prepare Your Immune System
Returning to the classroom means increased contact with students, teachers, and staff. If the summer months deprived you of social contact, this is welcome news! Unfortunately, increased contact also means increased contact with germs and pathogens that may cause you to get sick.
Additionally, the fall months are a common time to become victim to common colds and flu; colder temperatures can mean increased susceptibility to viruses that cause colds. To fortify your defense against harmful microorganisms, incorporate immune-boosting foods such as ginger, green tea, and berries into your everyday diet. You can also take supplements that support a healthy immune system like NatureWise Magnesium 300mg and Vegan Vitamin D3 + K2.
3. Keep Stress Levels to a Minimum
You may experience higher stress levels as you prepare for the school season — deadlines, academic and social pressures, and expanded activities can all naturally contribute to a rise in stress. However, you should maintain stress-relieving routines to prevent being in a prolonged state of stress, which can lead to serious health effects.
Keep your stress levels to a minimum by participating in stress-relieving activities on the regular. These activities include yoga, outdoor walks, meditation, physical exercise, breathing exercises, or reading. In addition to these activities, you can try supplements like NatureWise Ashwagandha for Stress to support your stress maintenance.
4. Get Quality Sleep, 7 Days a Week
Committing to regular sleep is more important than ever when dealing with the busy pace of everyday school life. Needless to say, sleep is as vital to humans as food and water. Without proper, quality sleep, you can experience side effects like impaired tissue repair and brain function, which you particularly want to avoid during the school season!
So while it's tempting to sneak in one more episode of your favorite show (or continue on the endless scroll of social media apps), set a firm bedtime for yourself. It may even help to set the alarm for when you need to hit the sack. Your mind and body will thank you for the rest!
5. Start Making Your To-Do Lists
Part of returning to going back to the school season is juggling to-dos, requests, assignments, and more. As a result, you may feel more overwhelmed. In these moments, your golden ticket to handling it all may be to write down your to-dos. Making daily, weekly, or even monthly to-do lists help you narrow down your goals and prioritize more efficiently.
While there are hundreds of apps available to help you create to-do lists, you may be better focused if you write down your to-do lists with a pen on paper. Studies suggest that writing things down can lead to stronger brain activity than jotting them down on your phone or computer.
6. Organize Your Space Regularly
With school starting, you'll likely receive more emails, flyers, or handouts. But with so much information, how can you focus on the priority items?
Reduce the possibility of being overwhelmed and unmotivated by cleaning out your in-person and online spaces clean. Focus on organizing your mailbox, email inbox, physical and digital folders, and any other areas for storing information. This one task allows you to weed out the clutter, reduce the chance of missing important information, and achieve greater mindfulness about the information you receive and store.
7. Keep Yourself Active
In recent years, we've adapted to video calling and online activities to keep ourselves safe. And in place of commutes, lunch breaks, or running on campus, we've adapted to walks and other outdoor activities.
So while many of us are returning (or have returned) to physical classrooms this fall, you can still retain the same effort for movement during the school season. Even if you're stationed at the desk for a prolonged period, schedule in your walks or other physical activities. Doing so will help you get better sleep at night, help promote regular heart health, and more!
8. Remember What Motivates You
As the school season proceeds and you start reminiscing about the summer days, you may experience a drop in motivation toward schoolwork or after-school activities. In these moments, regain your energy by focusing on what motivates you.
Think about why you're doing the things you are. Are you aiming to get good grades with the long-term goal of feeling accomplished at the end of the school year? Are you keeping up with dropping your kids off at their after-school activities so they can have a more enriching experience? Think about what’s important to you, and write it down so you can look at it when you need a motivation boost.
9. Give Yourself a Break
When summer break comes to an end, you lose the luxury of a prolonged break. Busy fall schedules may mean back-to-back classes, activities, and other commitments. However, that doesn't mean you lose the possibility of taking a break altogether! Take care of your well-being by scheduling short breaks throughout the day and completely decompressing on long breaks.
Breaks are not only refreshing but also stimulating for the mind. They can activate your brain to better process new information and increase its ability to stay focused and creative. So, set aside all your distractions and schedule breaks whenever you can, guilt-free.
10. Rely on Your Support System
Overall, the best way to stay organized and prepared for back to school is to find support from your friends, family, teachers, and other community figures. A robust support system can positively impact your mental health system, and you'll always have someone to rely on when you need help while navigating through the school season. This one factor can make a world of a difference!
The school year takes up most of the year, so it’s normal to want the best start to the season possible. Follow the tips above for smooth sailing, and don’t forget — the school year doesn't last forever. Happy preparing!