The beginning of the school year will be here before we know it! That also means that the end of summer vacation is near. Parents and children may have different feelings about this time of year. One feeling that parents and children can all agree, is that the shift from summer to school is stressful. Parents may feel the need to start making new demands on the children when they feel stressed. While, the children may start to act out behaviorally in times of transition. Here are five ways to ease family stress at the end of summer vacation and start the school year on a positive note:
1-FAMILY FUN: There may be some things on your summer to-do list that you haven’t checked off. Maybe it’s a weekend road trip or a museum you haven’t visited yet. Or maybe it’s a craft or art project you had planned to do, but never got around to it. Make time for those last minute activities because when school starts, time may be limited.
2-FAMILY CHATS: This may seem self-explanatory and really simple, but sometimes communication is the first to go when feeling stressed. Maybe you have a child who will be transitioning to a new school or from a lower level of school to a higher level. Or maybe parents are starting a new job or making transitions. All of this can create stress! It’s important to create a safe place for everyone to feel comfortable discussing thoughts and feelings.
3-FAMILY MEALS: During the summer and on summer vacations, family dinners may have decreased. Start to incorporate this activity now, so that it is easier to transition to when summer ends. It will give everyone a chance to feel connected. Food brings people together and increases those “feel good” feelings. Chances are that during the summer, eating habits haven’t been as healthy, as they once were so it’s also a great way to start eating a balanced diet again.
4-GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE: While working with teenagers, I’m often bombarded with the complaint that they are “so tired”, especially with the recent Fortnite craze. Most teenagers are staying up late during the summer and are able to sleep later in the morning. Getting back into a good sleep routine now may make for an easier transition when summer ends and school starts. Make sure everyone is going to bed at a reasonable hour, electronics aren’t a distraction, and every one is waking up at a decent hour to get back into the swing of things. Most arguments between parents and their kids are in the mornings about their kids not getting up, so let’s try to combat that pattern before it starts.
5-FAMILY MINDFULLNESS: Meditation and mindfulness is known to decrease symptoms of stress. Why not use some strategies now to get in the habit for when times may get really out of control? One idea is to take a walk and be in tune to your five senses. Identify things you see, smell, hear, feel, or taste. Keeping a journal is another great mindful activity. This is great for teenagers who love to write. For those that have trouble coming up with what to write, you can Google mindfulness journal prompts and some will come up. Or write down 5 things you are grateful for. Keep it simple! These activities should reduce stress not increase it.
We hope these tips will be useful to you and your family. We also hope that you have a great end to your summer and a great start to the school year!
If you are experiencing family issues or issues with your children, please feel free to give Clarity Health Solutions a call and let us help you.
By Emily Velez
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