Back to School, Back to Stress! 5 Ideas for Self-Care

August 7, 2017

By Gretchen Manske, Administrative Director

Back to school is a time of great excitement (we’ve all see the Target ads, right?) but let’s face it, it can be very stressful as well. Between preparing your child for the new challenges ahead, buying the expected and needed supplies, clothes, and shoes, and adjusting to new wake-up, bedtime and meal routines, no wonder many parents and caregivers have their own share of new school year anxiety! The time is now to think about how you can make time and space in your life for self-care, because your child needs you to be at your best this fall! Here are five ideas to consider putting into play:

1. Get active! When it comes to self-care you know this is key. Now is not the time to put extra pressure on yourself to begin a new hard-core exercise plan, but it is a time to stretch your body and brain to shake off stress and get moving. That might mean a quick bike ride or stroll with the dog each day, or maybe even taking that Zumba class you’ve been thinking about. But you must make it a priority. Schedule in active time just like you would a doctor’s appointment or work meeting.

2. Find a space of your own. This looks different for every family, but it is important that you have space in your own home that is fully your own, and that you let your family know that sometimes you need privacy in that space to do whatever you want, whether it be read a book, think, mediate, dream or just scroll through relaxing websites like Pinterest, Etsy or spiritual/inspirational social media feeds.

3. Create! Sticking with the back to school theme, perhaps this is time of year to do a little personal homework. While you’re getting supplies for your child, grab a notebook or a few art supplies for yourself and paint, draw or write – stories, a blog, a personal journal. Expressing yourself in a new way can be so rewarding and relaxing.

4. Put out an SOS. It can be hard to ask for help, but there are likely many friends, family or community members who’d like to help out if they just knew what you needed. Reaching out when you need a helping hand or ear builds up your support network, one you can feel comfortable with and count on as time goes on.

5. Give yourself a break. If you’re feeling “bad” emotions—frustration, anger, sadness, don’t beat yourself up! Be sure you have some coping skills or activities in place to make choices so those emotions don’t rule your days. Let yourself acknowledge your feelings, whatever they are. You treat your child with loving kindness when he or she is feeling low, do the same for yourself!

By making self-care a central part of your life now and in the future, you’ll find that it will positively affect you and the lives of all your family members. It also serves as great modeling for your child. Do you have additional ideas for self-care this back-to-school season? Let us know in the comments!


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