It's officially "that time" again - back to school (and work) after another summer. This return to structure might be even weirder for a lot of us after working from home for the last year and a half, so we wanted to help make the transition from the summer time free for all to planning and prepping for busy weeks, easier on you.
One of our favourite pro tips is using the week leading up to the first day back as kind of a buffer period, start getting back into routines, wake the kids up a little earlier, get in the habit of planning your meals and to do lists. This way it isn't a total shock to your system (and your families systems) when it's actually time to get it in gear.
Plan Your Meals
It is so easy to get caught up in being busy and let nourishment and cooking fall off the priority list. We get it, no one wants to come home after a long day, have to figure out what's for dinner and then have to go to the store, no thanks. This is why planning your meals for the week or even just a few days, in advance is the ultimate time saving and health saving tip. Forgetting about dinner and then ordering takeout for the 3rd time in a week isn't going to help you feel good physically or mentally, and it's a hit to the wallet. Make a fun activity out of it with your family, sit down together, discuss what you do and don't want to eat for the week, let everyone have some input and then make a grocery list based around your choices and get your shopping for all meals done in one sweep. It's also fun to use Pinterest or a food blog that you love for inspiration to try something new!
Make a To-Do List
This is key for busy people, we're looking at you parents, full time employees, and entrepreneurs. We like to break our days down on a micro level to really schedule things as efficiently as possible. Add in your work, pick up/drop off from school or activities, meetings, chores, and even things like a workout, that way you view everything as equal priority and set time aside everyday to get the things you have to get done accomplished as well as the things you want to get done.
Prioritize Down Time
Life can be crazy, especially when you add kids to the mix, that's why it is so important to still prioritize even a few minutes or an hour of time for yourself every day. The quickest way to get burnt out is by prioritizing everyone else's needs above your own and forgetting to give yourself that time to recharge. Try to carve out an hour every day, whether that is in the morning before your family wakes up and you head to work, or in the evening after the kids are asleep.
Get Your Family (or Partner) Involved
You do not need to take on all the responsibility of keeping the house clean, your humans fed, and the dog walked, get your family excited about being involved in the daily to-do's. Create a reward system for the kids when they do a chore, or making them feel like they have a responsibility by walking the dog, cook dinner with your partner and make it a time that you both share without distractions, listen to music while you do it, have a glass of wine (or water), talk about your day, and just be present together. We let our preconceived ideas that daily tasks have to be "chores" dictate how we approach them, but if we flip that mentality and instead view them as ways to connect with our families, things become more enjoyable.
We hope these tips ease your stress and help you transition into this time smoothly.
Stay cool - @Tubify Team