by Healthy Mesa County Staff
The chaos of back-to-school can be stressful and overwhelming. Parents are trying to adjust schedules to meet drop-off, pick-up and practice times for kids; while students prep the first-day outfits, fill their backpacks, and fight off the first day of school jitters (jitters that seem to last well into college and first day on the new job, for me anyway).
With everything else that is going on prepping lunches, studying and exercising to release all the cooped up energy may be at the bottom of a seamlessly never-ending to-do list. However, there are some tips and tricks you can make a habit that can lead to a smooth school year no matter your age!
When loading the backpack with all the essential classroom needs, don’t neglect your nutritional needs. Eating a balanced diet is crucial to having the fuel our bodies need to function, helping you feel recharged, refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Set aside part of your Sunday evening and put together sandwiches, snacks, veggie bags and drinks that are easy to throw into the lunch box and require little to no assembly during the morning rush. Also, keep healthy snacks on the counter, such as fresh whole fruits that are easy to grab when on the run for breakfast, or after school for a study snack. Choosemyplate.gov offers excellent resources on what a balanced plate should include, as well as recipes and tips.
Maximize study time
Study time may seem dreadful so setting a schedule and deadlines for subjects can be helpful to keep you on track with your studies, and other extracurricular activities. Design an environment where you can optimize study time; eliminate/control distractions such as your phone, TV and outside conversations. When sitting down to hit the books, it is important to understand your learning style (auditory, visual, and tactile). Understanding how you learn best eliminates wasted time trying to grasp concepts outside of your preferred style. For audio learners tape your classroom discussions/lectures so that you can play the information back later. Another good way for audio learners to study is by joining a study group to have active conversations with classmates about topics. The visual learner should make good of notes during class, write outlines, use graphs and charts, mark up materials and allow quiet time to read. For our hands-on/tactile learners– complement your study style by assembling charts/diagrams, combining an activity with studying, using tools to study with and having fidget toys to keep hands busy. Remember to take breaks as needed when studying. As your mind begins to drift to other places it may be a signal that it is a good time to take a break and go for a walk or grab a quick snack to re-energize. It is the quality of your study time, not the quantity that helps you ace the test!
Make time for fun
Don’t forget to reward yourself! It can be easy to get lost in the maze of work, school and outside activities so set aside time for you to enjoy leisure activities. Whether it is reading a book, or going with the family for a bike ride on one of the many beautiful trails the Grand Valley has to offer; creating a schedule that keeps balance and allows wiggle room for your mind to decompress is an important way to help reduce school year anxiety.
For more tips on making a healthy start to your school year check out our Pinterest page.