4 Tips To Go Back To School With More Joy and Less Stress
It’s back to school time and that means it’s the season for lunch packing, carpooling, teacher meeting and homework drama. This time of year can feel like a second January full of fresh starts, welcome change, and blank slates, but it can also feel overwhelming. Need a little perspective on starting the school year with intention? We don’t have all the answers. Everyone’s story is different. But here are a a few things that helps us embrace the new season with more joy and less stress.
Ever find yourself wishing away back to school night, making daily lunches, or sitting through homework time? Does the permission slip for the next field trip that needed to be tuned in 4 days ago give you a little switch? Just me? Something I find helpful in navigating the every day reality of parenting and back to school is to practice being present. Yes it’s a buzzword right now. But isn’t a huge part of the reason we let stress rule our lives sometimes because we are either anxious about the past or scarred of something that might happen in the future? Yes, some would say that healthy fear serves a purpose. But let us fight the urge to stomp on it or let it reign over us. The way towards a life of more joy, less fear and increased purpose is letting go of the fear that doesn’t serve you and living in the present moment as much as you can. Because after all….it’s just a Friday Folder.
Take Time to Plan
If you have listened to us long enough you’ve heard us talk about flow. We have grown so much in learning to pause before we act. To refrain ourselves from forcing the outcomes we desire and instead letting the universe surprise us. However, there’s a tender balance between flow and floating. There can still be a purpose and magic in making a plan. It’s when we get so attached to the outcomes do we suffer. What I’m saying is this. Carve out some time before your week begins and you ride the current of carpool, pickup, homework and snack time to plan out your week (maybe Sunday?). Being intentional about how you spend your precious time with yourself and your people can mean the difference between feeling in control of your own life and feeling like a slave to it.
Let Go of the Outcomes
Although a plan is a great tool, you don’t want to feel like a slave to it or that you’ve failed if something doesn’t happen in order of your day planner. When I started looking at the time I spend planning my week or the next day as positive visualization, my world changed a little (for the better). For all you people out there who break out in hives when someone gets our their calendar app, I offer you this; if you decide to give time management a try, think of it as a visualization practice rather than something set in stone. It’s telling the universe that this is how you intend to spend your time and then letting it do it’s thing. So embrace the plan, but hold the outcomes loosely. If homework doesn’t get completed this week….you knows what? It’s ok.
Remember that you have a choice
I am still surprised by how many people I come across who think they do not have a choice in the way they are living their lives. In terms of raising kids in school, this looks like piano lessons, competitive soccer, football practice or gymnastics 4 times a week. I actually had a conversation with a mom a few years back who was convinced that if she didn’t put her 6 year old boy in football that he would be “behind” by the time he was in fifth grade. It was as if to say, “what choice do I have?” Not that I have this down. There are days where I catch myself thinking that if my kid doesn’t continue wrestling that he will miss a scholarship opportunity. We are all susceptible to feeling like we don’t have a choice in the matter. But what I say is that is a lie. We all have a choice in whether or not your a competitive sports family or not. You get to decide if you’ll foster your kid’s passion for chess or piano or swimming or if you guys are in a season of rest and cocooning. It’s always your choice. And you know what? The kids are alright.