Back-to-school can be a stressful time for parents. Between homework, routine changes and the difficulty of parting with your child for the day, it's not easy dealing with the back-to-school bustle. In honor of busy parents facing the new school year, we've put together some stress-relief tips and tricks to help calm you down and get your school year off to the right start.
1. Prepare the night before.
Planning ahead is the best way to avoid the morning time crunch. Packing your child a lunch or snack the night before can save some early-morning headaches. Lay out the cereals, muffins or anything else you need to make breakfast the night before so it's ready to grab and go. Help your child pick out his or her outfit in advance so there's nothing to worry about in the morning.
2. Get a massage.
Don't think of a massage as an indulgence--think of it as something that'll help you manage your stress so you'll have more time, energy and smiles for your little ones. You can also do self-massage--or perhaps persuade your little one to give you a nice foot rub in exchange for a treat.
3. Do stress-relief exercises and stretches.
Modern parents are particularly susceptible to shoulder and neck pain because so many of us work in front of a computer for most of the day. In addition, breastfeeding, stress, sports, and carrying a heavy baby bag or purse can also contribute to pain in this area. Check out some of these great tips from Stress Free Mama, or try some of these stress-busting yoga poses perfect for busy parents, even if you have no yoga experience.
4. Have some fun with the kids.
You can still relieve your stress even while hanging out with the kids. Dance to some fun multicultural beats, cook up a global-inspired meal or sit down together and read one one of these famous children's books from around the world.
5. Don't try to be SuperMom or SuperDad. No parent is perfect. We're all going to mess up, be late or forget to do something for our children on occasion. Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes and use the experience to figure out how you can be better next time.