Every fall, daily life starts to run at a little faster pace. The start of school brings increased responsibility and hectic rushing from place to place for many families. For others, it means increases in traffic on the road, busy retail stores and restaurants, and increased stress everywhere.
To reduce the stress:
Choose a sensible bedtime and stick to it.
With the start of the school year, even households without children are likely to be waking earlier in the morning to beat the traffic. Rather than sacrificing much needed sleep, change up the evening schedule and get to bed a little bit earlier. As the days add up, all those extra hours of sleep will keep you physically and emotionally healthier.
Cut the screen time way back.
Flashy screens are the enemy of mindful presence. In other words, when you’re staring at a screen, you’re in a kind of no-man’s-land, not quite here, not quite someplace else. Instead, try turning off the devices and tuning in to the present moment. Look your dinner companion in the eye. Watch the sunset. You’ll feel less stressed, and as a side benefit, your days will feel longer.
Maintain daily routines.
Routines make us feel better. Whether that’s a daily morning walk, a spiritual devotional along with your cup of coffee, or sitting down to dinner at precisely 6 o’clock, sticking to a routine is comforting and reduces the stress of a faster paced schedule.
Slow down and make a plan.
It may seem counterintuitive when you’re rushing around, doing too much, but sometimes the key is to just slow down. Taking a few minutes on the weekend to plan meals for the week and make a grocery list with that plan in mind, for example, can cut out a lot of daily stress. Stopping to plan can minimize the number of moments you’ll be running around like a chicken without a head, ineffectively managing everything.
Get back to basics.
Does everyone in the family have clean socks? Is there bread for sandwiches, in case someone prefers to pack a lunch? Is the house in basic working order (not in disarray)? Minding the basic needs of the household first can reduce stress for everyone. Before you get fancy, do the little things.
Cut out the junk.
Whether it’s food and beverage, or gossip news stories online, cutting out your unhealthy choices can reduce stress and add time to your busy day. If it runs your energy down, it’s probably junk that can go.