{Thrive} Back to School Conscious Living Tips

photo-1416339684178-3a239570f315 We are winding down back to school week with a few tips to make this hectic time of year a bit more manageable and fun! If you have not had a chance to check out the “Fridge Worthy School Lunch Cheat Sheet” from earlier in the week we suggest you do! It is  a lifesaver! Print out the chart and then read through the following tips and you should be armed with the tools you need to make “back to school” a bit more joyful!
{Disclaimer} My day to day schedule can be pretty nutty so the following tips are ideas I TRY to incorporate BUT my routines are far from perfect! I think it is important to disclose this fact as it is much easier to write a slew of great ideas than it is to implement them everyday! I do the best that I can each day and each week as the following tips really do make life more manageable…but…let’s be honest, even the best plans can fall apart! I try to stay on track by setting intentions often and am gentle with myself when this goes crazy–I regroup and simply try again!

1. Plan Ahead. I might sound like a broken record on this one but the more your plan the less stressed out you will be!  I try to make time each weekend to plan dinners, lunches and a corresponding shopping list which saves me time (and money!). If I am feeling ambitious I also plan outfits and make an activity/responsibility calendar for the week–this way expectations are clear to everyone in the family.

2. Declutter.  On Sundays, when planning for the week- I take a little time to declutter.  I clean out the fridge, organize the cabinets and tidy up any other tornado-like destruction that has taken place over the weekend! A clean space equals a stress-free space. I always feel emotionally lighter when I clean up the crap laying around!

3. Stock Your Freezer. I was never a fan of freezing food until recently. I started making large batches of mealtime staples like pancakes, muffins, meatballs and grains and loading up my freezer for those times that I couldn’t get to the grocery store or didn’t plan dinner. On a recent Sunday, I had been away for the weekend and didn’t have time to shop–I stocked the fridge with my freezer bounty– precooked grains, meatballs, frozen vegetables and more. I even had shrimp and chicken sausage in the freezer that I cooked up for a grab and go protein option!   Speaking of freezer-friendly foods, there are several, items that can be prepared and immediately frozen for grab-and-pack lunch options as well–bonus, they will thaw come time to eat. From pre-made smoothies (use the silicon smoothie pouches) to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (think uncrustables), frittata muffins and pizza bites, your freezer can house a week’s worth of already prepared meals in no time!

4. Limit Morning Madness. Mornings tend to be the most chaotic time of the day so do yourself a favor and stick to a routine. The more structured your mornings the less stressed out you will be. Have your kids eat breakfast at the same time each day and try to plan the meal the night before. You can even have it prepped and portioned out in the fridge to save time in the morning! We try to enjoy breakfast as a family as it is the perfect time to connect and spend time together before the day gets going! Make sure to schedule time for yourself to do the basics like shower and get ready in peace so you are not forced to run out of the door looking disheveled which often happens to me!  Now, I try to start the morning with a little me-time (this could be as simple as taking 5 minutes to hide out in the kitchen and enjoy my tea). I try to allow myself the space to breathe and set intentions for the day as well as time to brush my hair and teeth! Plan an activity to keep your kiddo occupied — Hudson will watch a show (yes, he watches TV!) or play in his playroom while I get ready for the day.

5. Play!  It is so important to make time for fun so that work, school, homework and schedules don’t consume every minute of the day!   A fun “play-date” idea that seconds as a stress-busting routine is to pack lunch with your kids each nigh– make fun cut outs, prep together or have them decorate their lunch bag! I like to schedule time each day for “Hudson’s Pick” in which he gets to choose the activity (within reason, of course). I prioritize our bedtime routine as well–we read books, talk about our day and sing a song together each night which allows for some special family time to end each day.

6. Breathe. Days are hectic so make time to wind-down each night. A good nights sleep is important to your health and happiness. A few of my favorite ways to settle down  include a cup of tea, a warm bath, yoga/meditation and quite simply, a few meaningful and cleansing deep breaths to clear my head. Yet some nights I am asleep before I have time to consider any of these!

With Compassion for the Chaos!

Katie

 

 

Financial compensation was not received for this post.  Opinions expressed here are my own and I only recommend products I would personally use.

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