In the second part of my Season 3 kickoff week, I want to talk Back to School! Specifically, healthy habits for a less-stressed back to school. It’s the first week back to school for many of us around the country and the transition, no matter what the situation is for us, can feel overwhelming. But creating some healthy habits around the school year can be helpful to ease the stress on our bodies and help things to feel a little less hectic. So today, I want to share some strategies for a healthier, less-stressed back to school for moms and kids.
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Hey there friends, welcome back to the podcast! Kristin here, and today I want to talk Back to School! Specifically, healthy habits for a less-stressed back to school. It’s the first week back to school for many of us around the country and the transition, no matter what the situation is for us, can feel overwhelming. But creating some healthy habits around the school year can be helpful to ease the stress on our bodies and help things to feel a little less hectic. So today, I want to share some strategies for a healthier, less-stressed back to school for moms and kids.
Now, I know our world looks different than it did during back to school time last year. There is no doubt about that. So I’m going to try and keep these tips general as much as possible, and you can take what you learn and apply it to your own life, whatever that looks like for you!
So let’s dive in to less-stressed back to school strategies for MAMAS…
Strategy #1: Get up before the kids. No hate for this one from night owls, ok? But I think getting up before your kids is a CRUCIAL part of feeling like a less-stressed mama. When you are PROACTIVE about your day instead of REACTIVE, it makes SUCH a difference. Even if it’s just 10-15 minutes. What can you do in those 10-15? You can… wash your face and brush your teeth. Get yourself a glass of water and start the coffee. Get breakfasts on the table. Empty the dishwasher. Spend a few minutes journaling, praying or meditating, or all of the above. If you have more time, include more than one of these things. Maybe include a walk or some movement. The point here is to simply do SOMETHING that will set your day up well, in the morning.
Strategy #2: Use the evening to prepare for the day ahead.
This is a game changer, when you actually DO it! What can you do the night ahead to make the morning less-stressful? A few ideas:
load the dishwasher
fill water bottles
get breakfast prepped
The less you actually have to do in the morning, the easier your mornings will be.
Strategy #3: Have a PLAN (a meal plan, that is).
I’m going to talk more about this on Friday… specifically, how to simplify this area. But I’m going to go ahead and plug my free meal planning challenge, this month! If you haven’t joined yet, what are you waiting for?! Join us for four weeks of meal planning bliss- meal planning you’ll actually stick with, beyond the end of the month. Head to healthymamakris.com/plan to join for free. We start on September 7.
Meal planning and grocery shopping is one area that is non-negotiable for me. It’s just simply not worth the stress to NOT have a plan. When it comes to back to school, evenings start to get a little crazy as we have activities… so meal planning dinners is important as ever- but summers are often a little more casual when it comes to breakfast and lunches, at least they are in my house. But THIS is the area I see mamas stressing over. So what we like to do is choose two options for breakfast and lunch and ROTATE so it’s less complicated but kids also have a choice and a say.
This brings me to strategy #4…
Strategy #4: Do some light food prep.
You all know how I feel about meal prep. At least, I hope you do and if not, here’s the long and short of it: I love meal prep, and it doesn’t need to be complicated or boring! As a former personal chef, meal prepping for other people was my career, and I learned a few tips and tricks along the way. One is that there is no one-size fits all. Prep in a way that works for YOU, starting with which meals you need the most support. So which days of the week are busiest in the evenings? Start here with dinner prep, I often recommend starting with prepping ingredients to make things easier and then moving into other styles of prep if that feels right to you. I talk about all of those and more in my course, HMMP which I am re-releasing at the beginning of next month, so be sure to get on the waitlist for that- healthymamakris.com/prep.
Ok, last but certainly not least…
Strategy #5: Schedule in me-time
Selfish? So not, mama. As important as this was during quarantine and all of that stress, it is during the school year when life is moving just a little faster. How can you schedule in time for just you so you can show up well for your family, each and every day?!
Healthy Habit Strategies for KIDDOS…
Strategy #1: Stay consistent with bedtime + wake-up time.
Mamas who do this know what a game changer this is. Having a simple routine, even just brush teeth, pjs, books, bed- which is our basic nighttime routine, and mornings- clothes, breakfast, teeth, shoes- will simplify your days and reduce stress a TON. Try it! It also helps with sleep and allowing your kids circadian rhythm to align with your schedule, so they begin to naturally sleep and wake around the same time each day will make it much more smooth, as well.
Strategy #2: Get kids involved with meals.
What do your kids want for breakfast this week? How about lunches? Allowing them to choose some of the options when it comes to their meals makes it SO much easier when it comes to packing meals they actually enjoy. I don’t ask them the day-of, instead, I ask the week of, and then prepare from there. No food fights, less stress. With breakfast, they get to pick from two choices and that is that! Making sure to start the day with a balanced of some sort of protein and produce (usually fruit) is always the goal, and we round out with carbs and healthy fat.
Head to the link in the show notes to download my FREE stress-free kids lunch guide.
Strategy #3: Have a before-bus routine
This is a simple routine before your kids head out the door- or in our case, before we start the day, in case we head out! This is to support their health and add more ease to their routine.
Last year I had Dr. Elana Roumell on the podcast and she shared some of her best tips for healthy kids (I’ll link this in the show notes) and in the tail end of a pandemic, I think immune health is at the top of all of our minds. We keep it simple and straightforward. My kids get:
Probiotic (we also include lots of probiotic rich foods in our meals)
On Guard essential oil roller on the back of their neck for extra immune support.
We will also add vitamin C if anyone is feeling under the weather in our family.
I’ll share my favorite brands in the show notes.
When my oldest was in school, we would also hair brush with a spray that has a few drops of tea tree and rosemary essential oils in it for lice protection.
Strategy #4: Prepare for AFTER-school.
A few things we do after school time- if the kids are getting off the bus, is to come in, leave the backpacks at the door and take shoes off to avoid extra exposure to any ickies. We hand-sanitize, do more essential oil roller, and they come in for water or tea and a snack. I like to prepare this ahead so it’s easy to sit and have snack time and connect a little! If it’s warm, this is also a great time for outside time. A little activity before dinner and bed is always good!
Ok mama, I hope you found these strategies a helpful reminder for a more smooth back to school!
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