Summer is coming to end, which means back to cooler weather and for many: back to school. One of the best ways to start a new school year is to improve your organization skills and to commit to a routine. A mid-year refresh could be exactly what you and your family need to get the school year started seamlessly. This post will discuss the importance of getting organized and how doing so can reduce stress and enhance one’s self-care. We’ll also outline some easy tips to reorganize and refresh your schedule and routine.
I have always thought of the end of the summer season as almost New Year’s 2.0, especially as it pertains to the “Back to School” mentality. I consider the summer a period of relax and refresh, so allowing myself to reorganize and get back into a routine before the fall hits makes perfect sense, even to those who are no longer in school themselves. This will especially hit home for anyone prepping their kids to go back to school in the next few weeks. And while going back to school this year may look very different from past years, it will be even more important to create these new routines and to establish a new “normal” during unprecedented times.
While some people may not love the idea of doing the same thing every day, if you’re experiencing a lot of stress in your life, having a predictable schedule can be exactly what you need help you feel more in control and organized. According to Verywell Mind, a “lack of structure and routine can actually exacerbate your feelings of distress and make you pay more attention to the source of your problems.” By establishing a routine (and sticking to it!), you can experience lowered stress levels as well as feelings of productivity and focus. A safe bet is to start with the tasks that will always be done at the same time each day, like when to go to bed, wake up, eat, and work. Consider these as non-negotiable tasks that everything else can work around. Next, be sure to schedule in your priorities, like appointments, sports, classes, or other obligations. Scheduling these in consistently will allow you to find gaps in your schedule with which you can fill with fun things, like starting a new hobby or taking a new class that fits perfectly in that empty time slot. While it’s important not to over-schedule yourself, having fun things to do that you regularly schedule into your routine will really boost your self-care and reduce stress in your life.
But what are some good ways to make sure you’re organized enough to start the school year off right? Some easy ways are to have a family schedule that is planned out by the day, week, month, or even year – and to put it somewhere everyone in the family can see it and reference it. If you have many different activities going on, it may be a good idea to color-coordinate some of the recurring tasks. Or, use a different color for each member of the family. Each person picks their favorite color and puts their events on the schedule, so getting a visual picture of the day’s events becomes much easier! Another good tip from Smead is to plan your day the night before. “Set out anything you need to take with you in the morning, pick out your clothes… and remind yourself of your first appointment.” This is a great tip that can prevent the early morning rush – and the stress that goes along with it! Plus, if everything is already ready to go, you’re less likely to forget something when walking out the door!
Prioritizing a routine as well as re-organizing a schedule for your family is helpful in reducing stressors and establishing balance in your life. Adapting to these new habits will be valuable for you as well as your friends and family. It will help you set expectations for yourself, feel less overwhelmed, and find time to start doing more things that you love.
Jessica Hix is an Account Manager and Marketing Coordinator for The Laughton Company. While her day-to-day tasks in the Employee Benefits Department keep her busy, her monthly blog posts keep her sane! If you’re interested in more content from The Laughton Company, sign up for our newsletters or follow us on social media!