By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Um…how is it August already?!? Whoa. Know what that means? We are entering the BTS (Back to School) zone. This might make you jump for joy as you are over all the kids fighting, whining, and a constant need to entertain the troops, or you might be lamenting that it's going too fast. (Or, you are like me and fluctuate between the two, depending on the current situation. The days are l-o-n-g sometimes…amirite?!?).
Either way, the time will pass, and the first day of school will seem to pop out of nowhere. Suddenly, the last days of summer are replaced with a frantic flurry of getting everything in place. And, good luck finding those elusive classic Crayola colored pencils on the classroom supplies list. Side note, have you noticed there is always 1 or 2 items on each list you can't find anywhere? What's the deal with that anyway? Sorry, I digress…
Man, I'm feeling stressed just talking about it! What if I said I had 3 things you can do right now to set you up for a stress-free back to school transition? That got your attention! In the name of protecting the summer vibes, let's do this!
#1 - Get Your Schedule On
Chances are your kids and you (yes, you!) are due for appointments. You know, all the routine things we forget about like dental, orthodontist, eye, annual physical, influenza and other vaccines, to name a few. Have a middle or high school athlete? Don't forget the sports physical that is required every 2 years! These are not only necessary routine health but also ones that book out weeks or months in advance. While you are at it, fill out any necessary paperwork or online registrations. This might not sound like a fun task…lol. But, a little focused time and attention here, I'm talking an hour or so, will save you so much time and stress later.
#2 - Gear Up
Back to school time comes with new gear…school supplies, backpacks, shoes, clothes and any fall sports needs like volleyball or cross country shoes. As you get closer to September, these items become as elusive as spotting a jaguar in the rainforest. Know what else? There are often really great deals to be had starting now. Whether you choose Amazon delivery or shopping in person, get your gear now!
#3 - Plan It Out
Ready for the game changer? Get a large, weekly calendar. This can be paper or, my new purchase, a dry erase one that came with a variety of colored markers. Give each person in your family a section; for example, my calendar is divided into 6 equal rows, 5 rows for each family member and 1 row for that evenings meal. Every week, write out each person's commitments. (I also have colors assigned to each family member.) This is taped on the backslash in my kitchen, opposite where the kids sit for breakfast and right above the silverware…so, in plain view for even the most oblivious teenager or, ahem, significant other. This calendar has a bonus feature. Not only will it help everyone know what is going on that week, it can also allow you, the parent, to help kids take on the responsibility of preparing for these activities. No matter the age, it's good for kids to take on packing their sports gear or snacks. Delegation, baby!
Just think how much less stressed you will be during the final week of summer having these big tasks checked off the list? Get to it so you can squeeze every last good time out this summer! Shine On!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.