When I glanced at the calendar today, I realized that our back to school inservices start in about a month. What happened to summer? It’s going way too quickly, and the new school year will be here before we know it.
The start of school brings lots of stress with it.
- A classroom to set up
- Back to School night
- Meeting new students
- Dropping kids off at daycare again
- After school meetings
- And so much more!
My neck started to tense just at the thought of how busy I’ll be in a few short weeks. That made me wonder what I could do now to relieve some of the stress of the new school year.
10 Things to Do Before the New School Year
#1 – Make freezer meals.
Making meals during the school week is a huge stress. You walk in the door at 4:30 exhausted from a long day of teaching. The last thing you want to do is cook a meal.
Solution: Make some freezer meals before school starts. When you’re making food, just double the recipe and pop one in the freezer.
When you have a really busy week, dinner is ready and just needs to be heated.
Here are a few of my favorite freezer meals.
- Freezer Baked Ziti from Macheesmo
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole from Money Saving Mom
- Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers from Andie Mitchell
Tip: Freeze your food in plastic freezer bags, and label the bag with the date and type of food.
Discover some of my other favorite freezer meals and tips for freezer cooking.
#2 – Fill out your calendar now.
Schedules get crazy during the school year. My husband and I teach at two different schools, and my son goes to a completely different district. Plus, we have meetings, soccer practices, and dance classes. I have to stay organized, so I don’t miss anything important.
Solution: Check your district’s website to see if the calendar is posted. Fill in the important events on your personal calendar. Add in other meetings and events as you find out about them.
Some of the stress melts away when I’m organized and can see what lies ahead.
#3 – Start adjusting your sleep schedule.
Summer means sleeping in until 9 and staying up until 11. It’s a shock to your body when you suddenly have to crawl out of bed at 6 on the first day of school.
Solution: Gradually adjust your sleep schedule. Start going to bed an hour earlier and waking up an hour earlier to ease the transition.
#4 – Do a little bit of school work each day.
Everything that needs to be done for a new school year is overwhelming.
Your to-do list goes on and on and seems like it will never end.
Solution: Choose one job to complete each day. You will feel like you’re accomplishing things without working 10 hours straight.
Don’t forget to divide up the work if you are part of a grade level team. When my teammates and I started doing guided math, we divided up all the topics. That way we only had to plan 4 topics each rather than all 16. It saved so much time!
Find out how we set up our guided math groups.
#5 – Stock up on snacks and foods for lunches.
If you don’t feel like making dinner, you definitely don’t want to make lunch for the next day. I have three lunches to make each evening, and it’s the last thing I feel like doing after a long day at work.
Solution: Start buying snacks and easy things to pack for lunch now. Divide large bags into serving-sized containers so you just have to grab it and go. Use them to make your own snack packs.
Some of my favorite foods to stock up on include:
- Veggies (carrots, broccoli, celery)
- Fruits (oranges, apples, fruit cups)
- Cubed Cheese
- Granola Bars
Just be sure to check expiration dates on the foods you’re buying ahead of time.
#6 – Get your feet used to school shoes again.
All summer long you’ve been wearing flip-flops and sneakers. Unfortunately, those don’t go well with your dresses and skirts for school. Try wearing heels again on the first day of school, and you’ll be barefoot before lunch.
Solution: Gradually reintroduce heels into your wardrobe. Wear them for an hour at church or to go out to dinner.
Discover some of the most comfortable shoes for teachers.
#7 – Clean your house as much as you can now.
One of my biggest stresses during the school year is a messy house. I can keep everything in my classroom neat and tidy, but at home the dishes pile up in the kitchen, hampers are full of dirty laundry, and toys are strewn across the floor. Teaching is exhausting, and you’re not going to want to clean when you get home.
Solution: Get your house as clean as you can before school starts. Then, spend about 15 minutes a night tidying up, so it doesn’t look like a tornado went through your house.
#8 – Freshen up your school wardrobe.
You’ve spent the summer in shorts and T-shirts. As you look through your clothes, you realize your school wardrobe hasn’t been updated for three years.
The start of the new school year calls for some new clothes. I always love an excuse to go shopping.
Solution: Look for back-to-school sales at your favorite stores or try Stitch Fix and Trunk Club to have new clothes delivered to your door. Just tell your stylist you need comfortable clothes for teaching,
#9 – Pamper yourself.
You know the start of the school year is going to be hectic and stressful. There won’t be much time to spend on yourself when you’re trying to meet the learning needs of 25 students and keep the rest of your life in order.
Solution: Pamper yourself now. Set up a spa day to have a manicure, pedicure, haircut, and massage.
Now you’ll look and feel great as you meet your new students and start a new school year.
#10 – Enjoy the last few days of summer with your family.
With your ridiculously long to-do list, it’s easy to forget to enjoy yourself. Summer will wrap up quickly, and you’ll have 180 days to do school work.
Solution: Spend time with your family before summer is over. Plan some day trips and create some amazing memories. Before you know it, your kids will be spending more time with other people than with you again.
Hopefully, all of these ideas will help you destress as you prepare for the beginning of the school year.
Check out these 10 first week of school activities to make planning easier.
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What Do You Think?
What do you do to destress before the new school year starts?
Let me know in the comments below.
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