Unless you live your life off-the-grid, far away from modern society and out of wi-fi range (and if you do… how are you reading this blog right now??), you know that school is back in session. You can probably feel it, too. Maybe you’ve been downloading supply lists for your kids, or reviewing syllabi for your own classes. You might be checking your budget for back to school clothes, filling out a FAFSA, or trying to narrow down extracurricular activities. Or maybe it’s 1:30 in the morning right now, and you’re huddled over a stack of old photo albums, tearfully wondering when your kindergartener became a high schooler. No judgment-- I totally understand.
I think we can all agree that during this time of year, stress levels run high. Homework, lunches, shopping lists, multiple schedules to coordinate... it’s a whirlwind of chaos, and I really don’t blame you if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.
But this year is going to be different, my friend. Why? That’s because this year, I’ll be in your corner! Metaphorically, of course… there’s no way I can pack that many lunches.
So, I can't help make lunches, but I can make a list! And I made one just for you! It's a few of my favorite, easy-to-follow tips to help keep you sane in the midst of insanity. (Or at least minimize the tears)
Make Your Calendar Your Best Friend
A bullet journal, your google calendar, or a fancy app on your phone… no matter what your preferred method of organization is, spend some quality time with it. Plot out important dates and appointments, set reminders, make it colorful, and share it so that everyone’s on the same page. Avoid that feeling of dread that you get when the text “Are we still on for today?” pops up on your phone and you have no idea who it is or what they’re talking about.
Do Things Before You Go to Bed
Listen, I understand how dangerous well-meaning ambition can be. It’s the evening, you’re surveying the damages of that day, sipping your wine tea, and thinking to yourself, “Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up with a positive attitude, I’ll be super productive, and everything is going to be totally different from today.” And then the morning comes… you’ve hit snooze too many times, your hair is defying gravity, and somehow your children have managed to lose every single pair of shoes they’ve ever had.
Give your morning self a break and get all the important stuff done the night before. Pick out clothes (remember shoes), pack the backpacks, make lunches. Not only will that make the morning go more smoothly, it might give you an opportunity to have a few more minutes of sleep. You deserve it.
Simplify Your To-Do List
I hate to break it to you, but you are just one human person, and that means you can’t control time, or clone yourself, or move at hyper speed. (I still think you’re super, though!)
Your lack of superpowers might have you feeling completely overwhelmed, but there’s nothing wrong with making things a little less complicated. Postpone those low-priority tasks, and have reasonable expectations for what needs to get done.
I mean, do you really need to organize your pantry or clean out your closets this week? Those things can probably wait. And do all of your kids’ lunches have to be pinterest-worthy creations? No, friend. They can just eat regular sandwiches.
Give Yourself a Time-Out
Wait, you’re not in trouble! I just want you to find a little time to breathe and take a break from the chaos. Even if it’s just for a few minutes at some point in your day. Read a chapter of your favorite book, go for a hike, do a quick morning or bedtime yoga routine. Don’t forget that YOU time.
Get Some SLEEP
I'm convinced that the answer to most of life's problems is sleep.
Skin looking dull? Get more sleep!
Brain seems foggy? Get more sleep!
Feel really tired? ... okay the answer is obvious here and you see where I'm going with it, so we're moving on!
My point is that no matter what your schedule looks like, it's going to be way easier to handle when you're starting the day well-rested. It's amazing how much things improve for you when you don't forget to take care of yourself.
None of the things on this list are particularly ground-breaking, but I think that's why they work so well for me. When life gets to be a little too much, a good first step to regaining control is just to go back to the basics.
Which survival tip has worked best for you? Did I miss your favorite one? Let me know in the comments below!