Easy Meals: Heat up a frozen dinner such as lasagna on a week night that is particularly busy. Try to have a meal cooked one day ahead of time in order to avoid the drive-thru or trying to cook while starving. The family will be relieved to come home to a meal that simply needs to be warmed up.
Get Outside: Just because summer is over and the days are shrinking does not mean the family has to stay inside. Enjoy the changing trees and cooler weather by taking the bikes to the trails, exploring a local hiking spot, or picking apples. Take evening walks in the neighborhood as a family, eat dinner in the back yard, picnic in the park, and roast s'mores in a fire pit.
Time Out: Take at least 15 minutes for yourself each day to do those little things that help you to get happy and unwind like meditating, engaging in a hobby, taking a hot bath, reading, or catching up on your favorite show.
Plan a Trip: Plan a day trip for an upcoming weekend in September or October to have something to look
forward to once Labor Day is over. Go to a local tourist site the family has always wanted to visit or plan an overnight road trip for a relaxing getaway that does not have to be expensive. Book your stay at an inexpensive motel, use coupons for lunch and dinner, and fill up the tank with discounted warehouse gas prior to going.
Be realistic: Scale back to one or two extracurricular activities per child in order to protect family time, keep your kids from burnout, and avoid additional stress. Equally important is letting go of unrealistic expectations both for yourself and your children. Likewise, if fall is a stressful time for you, ease up on yourself.
Practice calm: Help you and your children cope with anxiety brought on by the new school year by doing deep breathing exercises, focusing on positive thoughts, being optimistic about the future, making healthy choices, getting enough rest, and counting your blessings before bed.
With the kids back in school, use tips from Stress Management 101 to begin the school year with a fresh start. Create an easy transition for your family, and write a new story this fall!