Back-to-School Survival Guide: Learn how to survive and thrive during the hectic back-to-school season by taking care of YOU!
Thank you to Natrol for sponsoring this post.
The early morning wake-ups. The last-minute push to get the lunch and backpack ready. The rush to get out the door and get them on that yellow school bus.
I’m the first to admit, back-to-school brings mixed emotions. For a work-at-home mom like me, back-to-school means more time to focus on my job, but it also takes away my built in excuse to go hang at the beach for the day. The return to routines can be a relief (yay to earlier bedtimes!), but also a pain (can’t someone else pack those lunches?)
Like it or not, the lazy days of summer are over, and now it’s time to kick into that school year gear!
Back-to-School Survival Guide
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Having been through back-to-school many times and at a many stages, I can tell you that it helps to have a plan. Whether you have littles, tweens or teens, the most important thing is to make back-to-school season work for YOU. Happy, healthy mom = happy, healthy family, right?
So I’ve put together a back-to-school survival guide with all the things that have helped me manage the transition over the years. And be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY at the end of the post. We’ve got a fun prize package to help back-to-school time go even more smoothly!
Organize Your Time
Whether you work from home or outside the home, being organized is key. I don’t know about you, but I need things written down and I need lots of reminders! Luckily there are tons of tools to help us stay on top of our busy schedules.
- Write it down – As much as I prefer to minimize waste, I find that writing my daily to-do list in a paper planner works best for me. I use a weekly calendar that has plenty of room for to-do lists on the side (see resources below). I make good use of sticky notes too!
- Keep notes online – Since we never go anywhere without our phone these days, it makes sense to keep important information online. I use Evernote, a note taking app where you can store shopping lists, receipts, gift ideas, articles to read and more.
- Share online calendars – The electronic calendar could possibly be the best invention ever. Especially since you can easily share events with your partner and even your kids. We use Microsoft Outlook but there are plenty of other options. Pro tip: Get all the important dates for school on your shared calendar ASAP!
- Moleskin weekly planner (this is the one I use every day)
- Weekly planner notepad with tear-off sheets (win one in the giveaway below!)
- Evernote (the basic version that I use is free)
Manage Bedtime Routines
Summer means staying up late and breaking the rules – but come Fall we need to put routines back in place for our health and sanity. As hard as it is to say goodbye to Summer, I always appreciate the rules and routines when school starts up again.
- Gradually move kids’ bedtime earlier – sudden changes are harder to handle.
- Get back into a nightly reading routine with kids if you’ve gotten out of the habit.
- Adjust your own bedtime too – Mom’s schedule is just as important!
- Consider taking melatonin as your transition out of summer to help you (Mom) adjust to a new schedule. Natrol Melatonin helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake up feeling refreshed (even after that early alarm!)*
- Natrol Melatonin is the #1 melatonin brand in the U.S. and is available in a variety of forms including: Natrol Melatonin Gummies , Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve, and Natrol Melatonin Advanced Sleep (controlled release). Find it online or at Walgreens, Costco, Sprouts and other natural food stores.
- 5 Easy Tools to Help you Sleep
- Classic children’s books to help ease into bedtime.
Plan For Healthy Meals
When we get busy, healthy eating is one of the first things to go. Believe me, I get it. Your best defense is to plan ahead – meaning you need tons of ideas and shortcuts for healthy meals and snacks at the ready. But don’t expect to be 100% healthy all of time – mindful moderation is the key!
- Meal prep on the weekends to help you during the week. Some of the things I like to prep are hard boiled eggs, roasted vegetables and cooked beans.
- Organize healthy grab-and-go breakfasts like egg muffins, overnight oats, homemade granola, smoothies or healthier breakfast cereal (because sometimes you just have to give in to cereal).
- Be a healthy lunch packing queen (and get the kids to help!) Having a stash of reusable lunch gear like snack bags and containers helps make it zero waste. (win some of my favorites in the giveaway below!)
- Keep junk-free snacks in the cupboard plus fresh fruit and veggies to manage after school munchies.
- Keep your crockpot or Instant Pot handy for quick weeknight meals.
- Stock up on healthy convenience foods like salad mix, pre-cut veggies, jarred pasta sauce, pizza crust – or whatever works for you.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prep
- Lots of healthy lunchbox ideas and lunches for hungry teenagers
- My back-to-school Pinterest board with lots of ideas and recipes
- Instant Pot recipes from Pinch of Yum
- Thrive Market is my favorite resource for healthy snacks and pantry staples at affordable prices
- ButcherBox is my go-to source for organic, grass-fed and healthier meat
Boost Your Brainpower
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think back-to-school, but feeding your brain is an important step to getting set up for success – both for you and the kids.
- Eat brain healthy foods like salmon, spinach, blueberries, avocados and walnuts.
- Avoid foods that cause brain fog like processed foods, sugar and foods made with white flour.
- For an extra boost to your brain, adults can take Natrol Cognium, a supplement formulated to keep your mind sharp and your memory strong. Cognium is a safe, stimulant-free formula made from a natural protein found in silkworm cocoons. It is backed by human clinical studies to improve memory and cognition in as little as 4 weeks.* (win some in the giveaway below!)
- Get enough sleep (as we talked about above) because a tired brain is not going to help you get through your to-do list.
- Exercise – because studies have shown that exercise helps boost memory.
- Natrol Cognium comes in regular strength and extra strength and is available online and in many national retailers.
- 15 Brain Foods to boost focus and memory
Back-to-School Survival Guide Giveaway
We’ve got a fun giveaway to help you ease into back-to-school season! One lucky Mindful Momma reader will win the following prize package:
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. (Winner must be over 18 years and have a U.S. mailing address.) Giveaway goes through midnight central time on Friday, September 7th, 2018.
Good luck and happy back-to-school!
*“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.”