Ok. It’s here. Fall. Well, it’s almost here, anyway. And what does that mean? For me, it means back to teaching a lot of dance classes. Classes for toddlers, pre-schoolers, beginning tappers and adults who want to learn to do the Waltz. It also means making school lunches, driving my son to school and gymnastics and cello lessons. And shopping for groceries and back to school clothes and supplies (don’t forget the graph paper!)
For most parents it means keeping track of new schedules, buying new clothes (how did they grow so much in just 2 months!) and figuring out exactly how everyone will get where they need to get when they need to get there with the stuff they need. Not to mention managing work schedules, babysitters and a detailed meal plan for the entire family.
Phew! You get the picture. We all go from a somewhat more relaxed Summer schedule to the full blown mayhem that is life nowadays.
So, what can we do to make the transition as smooth as possible? I have a couple of suggestions based on years of trial and error (mostly error):
• Don’t forget to take care of yourself.Get the the gym (or sign up for a dance/yoga/Zumba class). I love the convenience of the 30 minute Curves workout!
• Don’t give in to the pull of fast food. Eat your fruits and veggies and drink lots of water. I always have an apple and some almonds in my purse and carry a refillable water bottle.
• Do read a book or listen to a podcast—even 20 minutes a day is good. I usually read or listen to an audio book with morning coffee before the hustle and bustle begins.
• Do hug someone for 6 seconds (that’s how long it takes for oxytocin to do its work). You might be surprised that even your teenaged children will start to appreciate this habit!
• And do give yourself a break! No one is perfect and we aren’t meant to be. Just do the best you can. This last one is part of my daily affirmations.
So, if you start feeling overwhelmed, take a moment, breathe and be thankful. We’ll all get where we need to be, when we need to be there, with the stuff we need. Most of the time, anyway. And that’s all that we can ask of ourselves.