12 Easy Ways to Beat Common School-year Stresses

12 Easy Ways to Beat Common School-year Stresses

Don’t let common school-year stresses overwhelm you this year! Use our 12 tips to keep things in order.

By: Monica Gullon

Manage Time Wisely
If you can master the clock, you can master your day. These tips can help you use every hour efficiently.

  1. Set house clocks 5 to 7 minutes ahead: This sneaky psychological trick adds bonus minutes to your day and helps everyone get out the door on time.
  2. Master the checklist: Little stresses like misplaced homework or lost keys can be minimized by having routine checklists. To create a checklist that works for your family, think like an airline pilot: What do you need to do in order to create a successful liftoff in the morning or to land everyone in bed by 9 p.m.? Write it down, post it and follow it rigorously with your crew.
  3. Set a gentle alarm to ring one hour before kids’ bedtime as a reminder that the evening is winding down. Turn off TV and other electronics and lower overhead lights to give young bodies subtle cues that bedtime is on the way.

Plan Ahead For Meals
A game plan is the key to a stress-free dinner duty.

  1. Map out simple, doable meals using a menu-planning app or old-fashioned pen and paper. Save time by generating a grocery list from your meal plan and shopping only once a week.
  2. Serve at least one “make-your-own” meal that lets diners customize their plates. Think tacos, pasta, salad or baked potato bar.
  3. Have several go-to meals for emergency nights when nothing seems to go right or kids come home late from practice. (Try quick-cooking angel-hair pasta and jarred tomato sauce with frozen meatballs or grilled cheese sandwiches with canned minestrone.)

Asking your family to “be more helpful” rarely nets results, so give everyone a specific task and you’re more likely to get cooperation.


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  1. Ask for volunteers first before assigning tasks like walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash and folding laundry. Rotate chores regularly so everyone has a chance to perform a job they don’t mind.
  2. Post a chore chart on your fridge to track who does what. Or use a task-sharing app and turn chores completion into a family game. Offer weekly prizes like a candy bar or dibs on the TV remote.
  3. Have kids prep for breakfast the night before: Let them set out cereal and bowls, place bread near the toaster, and fill the coffeemaker.

Treat Yourself Right 
Care for yourself first so you can care for others.

  1. Wake up 10 minutes earlier and steal a few unhurried moments. Sip a cup of tea, read a book or enjoy a sunrise stroll.
  2. Schedule “me time.” Whether it’s a haircut, yoga class, or girls’ night, put it on your calendar just like any other appointment.
  3. Try a daily one-minute chocolate meditation. Take a small piece of chocolate and truly inspect it. Inhale its scent and put it in your mouth. Let it melt on your tongue noting every sensation you experience as it slowly dissolves. The blissful break will be a welcomed treat.

Do you have any tricks for stopping school-year stress? Log in or register and share them in the comments below!

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