From Summer to School

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Ease Back in With Joy


 Ah…. the lazy days of summer. Who doesn’t love them? Most wish they’d last longer! But before you know it, Autumn is rapidly approaching and so are all things “back-to-school!” 

Written by: Camille Lucy
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 Summer is a time many families get to enjoy each other in a much more relaxed, loose way. Mornings no longer consist of washing up, dressing, eating, packing lunch boxes and school bags, and racing out the door for the bus. Evenings aren’t spent eating dinner, doing homework and extracurricular activities, and making sure to enforce early bedtimes. While summer can be really enjoyable for families, and much more easy going, back to school can become an extension of summer fun and source of good-feelings, as well. 
Here are a few tips to keep the joy going from Summer to School: 
Manage anxiety with a meditation or mindfulness practice. Like any big change, going back to school can trigger anxiety or stress in both children and parents alike. What’s more, sensing the stress of a parent can trigger it in the child, and vice 
versa. Begin a routine mindfulness practice as a family to gain the benefits of reduced stress, anxiety and reactivity, improved memory and focus (just in time for the first math quiz) and improved general health. Check out the Kiddos Summer 2017 Edition, Page 16, for 5 fun ways to teach kids mindfulness and activities you can do as a family! 

• Being to ease into schedule days. Catching lightning bugs by night…. catching the school bus by morning. Yikes! Most children go to bed later during the summer, and some (for those lucky parents) may wake up later, too. About a week or two before school begins – depending on how much later your child stays up during the summer months- start bedtime 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up ten minutes earlier each morning. For example, if your child goes to bed an hour later during the summer, it will take six nights to bring him or her back to school-night bedtime. This gradual adjustment allows your child to ease back into proper school time routines and schedules without shocking the system.  

• Bedtime Reflections. Spend a few moments at night, before your child goes to bed, discussing something you are each grateful for or happy about or something good that happened that day. Holding a positive focus before nodding off can lead to happier mornings, which lead to happier days! The more time we spend thinking about and talking about good things, the more great things we notice all around us every day. 
• Continue the Outdoor Fun. “Back-to-school” does not have to signal the end of the Great Outdoors. Nature is very important to children, and adults alike. Studies have found that spending time in nature helps children build confidence, creativity, imagination, and responsibility and reduces stress. is also healthy for the body to be 
moving, and provides different stimulation than indoor activities. The Fall brings with it all sorts of activities outdoors like Halloween festivities, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides, and apple picking. 
• Continue, or begin healthy eating habits. When you eat good, you feel good. Creating or continuing a healthy eating habit is ideal, as the benefits are vast: healthy weight, mental well-being, concentration and focus, strong bones and muscles, energy, immunity, faster healing and recovery and reduced risk for diseases in the future. Once the habit is put in place, it becomes less likely your children – or family – will reach for the junk food. Our bodies adjust to the new healthy habits and no longer crave the harmful chemicals and additives found in many processed foods these days. A general rule to follow for those not familiar with healthy habits, try to stick to the source (also called Whole Foods). If your food was picked, grown, or otherwise unchanged by a “factory,” it’s a healthier choice to eat. Introduce a new healthy option into your meals, and slowly crowd out the old, unhealthy options. It doesn’t have to happen overnight. This can be a gradual change, but it has profound, long-term benefits.
• Good Morning, Sunshine! Create healthy morning routines filled with love and peacefully exists. The pressure to rush around and out the door can 
be overwhelming. To alleviate stress and create a more joyful experience before school, practice a quick mindfulness activity (can be as short as 1 minute!), play upbeat music, or set a prayer or intention for the day with your children. 
It’s more important to send your child off with love and good-feeling (and for you, too!) than to rush them out to make sure they don’t miss the bus, barely speaking a word to one another but passing each other by to grab this or that. The momentum that begins in the morning can carry through to the entire day. Ask yourself, how do I want my day to go? How do I wish to send my child off today? And make sure to say I love you! 
• Schedule one-on-one time with your child(ren). During the summer, families tend to spend a lot more time together. And with school comes activities, programs, homework… the list can go on and on. It may seem like a stretch to plug in some one-on one time with your child(ren), but the rewards and benefits of that undivided attention will be worth it. Even 15 minutes spent reading, cuddling, talking or doing an activity together can become precious, cherished 
memories and moments that really make life worth living. While Summer is undoubtedly a really awesome time, back-to-school doesn’t mean there will be no more fun. Implement these tips into your routine and daily life, and you can breathe life back into an otherwise stressful or daunting time for parents and children.
The benefits of these activities or practices will have lasting effects that improve and enhance your life overall, create connection and strengthen your bond as a family. And don’t worry,  Summer will be back, again, before you know it! 

Camille Lucy is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Reiki & Raindrop Technique Practitioner, Ordained Holistic Minister, Certified Meditation Teacher (in the process) and a Mother of 3 girls. Camille is also the author of, “The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self.” Learn more about her and her adventure(s) at