4 Ways to Beat Back 2 School Stress: The Parents' Edition
Written by Founder and CEO, Sara Potler LaHayne
Monday mornings are always stressful, but once the summer ends and kids start going back to school, Mondays become a whole new ballgame. The term “working parent” gains an entirely different meaning as your resume gains new job titles such as: soccer coach, math tutor, and PTA leader. With such a quick turnaround it can become an overwhelming task to healthily balance all of this while still maintaining a professional career.
I’m lucky enough to be passionate about the work that I do, but with passion comes a large devotion of my time and effort. Running from meeting to meeting, jumping on phone calls with an inbox that receives new messages faster than I can open them. I’m constantly moving to get through my obligations, and one single change in my daily schedule can be the pebble that starts the avalanche. Managing stress and emotions has become a necessity in my life as I continue to face big changes in this always-evolving world. Change is inevitable, which means stress is inevitable.
My mother always says, “There’s no use in crying over spilled milk," so rather than fret over what you can’t control, here are a few helpful tips on transitioning into this fall:
Close Any Unnecessary Tabs
With change comes new responsibilities, and as we open new tabs we have to remember to close the tabs that are no longer relevant. Think about all of the tabs you have open on your computer as you’re reading this: your personal email, work email, Facebook, LinkedIn, an excel spreadsheet and this blog. Even with all of these tabs open in the background, you can only interact with one at a time. Similarly, you can have many things on your mind, but your brain has to process them separately. Having too many tabs open on your computer and in your mind can overwhelm and create setbacks for the user (you), in fact, studies show when people multitask they can lower their IQ 15 points. Closing unnecessary tabs allows you to focus more easily on the task at hand. Just as a disclaimer: This may mean pocketing those Buzzfeed articles for later.
Do Your Homework
Upholding the title of super mom/dad is a lot easier when you know exactly what villains you have to tackle. When life is throwing me this, that, and the other thing, having the ability to be aware of what matters most allows me to accomplish everything on-time and with ease. It is very easy to become consumed with things that are not priorities, but allowing yourself to realize what truly matters creates a path to achieve your goals. Just as we tell kids to set aside time each day for homework, create time for you to plan ahead. By taking a little extra time to schedule out your week, you can rule out what you do and don’t need to spend your energy on. Prioritizing your life helps you decipher what the real villains are so you can be the super parent and professional you have the potential to be.
Take A Recess
Looking at my schedule it can be incredibly discouraging to watch the tasks continue to add up. Sometimes I become stressed before I even begin them because the load can be so intimidating. Checking a task as “complete” is definitely not worth sacrificing my mental health. Making myself a priority is a task that I have to remind myself to check off every day. Whether I’m taking a recess from my computer screen for a few quick stretches or a nice 15 minute walk at lunch, simple check-ins with myself allow for healthier productivity while creating a new sense of motivation.
Give Yourself A Gold Star
As long workdays become even longer with new obligations being thrown my way, I always take some time to reward myself. It’s easy for me to get so caught up in the end result, that often times I forget to acknowledge all of the hard work that I did to get to there. Patting myself on the back after a hard day's work gives me self-satisfaction that inspires me in the days to come.
When it comes down to it stress won’t go away, but it doesn’t have to be a negative factor in your life. Instead of letting the frustration set you back, use that energy in a positive force towards accomplishing your goal. Make wellbeing a school supply you carry during this transition into the school year.
Comment below to share your favorite ways to de-stress and stay cool and be sure to follow Move This World on Twitter for more wellbeing & stress management tips: @move_thisworld