It’s officially that time of year again! Somehow the summer is already ending and everyone is headed back to school. For some, this may bring excitement and eagerness to get back into a routine. For others who have enjoyed relaxing over the summer, they may be dreading early wake-up times, a heavier workload, and new schedules.
Whether you’re excited or dreading it, going back to school is actually a great opportunity to reinforce healthy habits in your home. Similar to the start of a new calendar year, a new school year symbolizes a fresh start. It’s common over the summer to be a little more lax with our nutrition and exercise. There are numerous holidays, barbecues, and parties; kids are out of school so families are going on vacation; and let’s be honest, sometimes sleeping in feels more important than making it to the gym.
But as it comes time to head back to school, we have to hit the reset button and prioritize establishing healthy habits going into a busy school year. Today we have a couple of tips for how to create healthy habits in the 2019 school year, both in your home and at school:
3 Tips to Having a Healthy School Year
Go to bed at the same time every night.
Yep, this one is super important and isn’t just for kids! Going to bed at the same time every night ensures that you are getting enough sleep and will have energy for the day ahead. We recommend 7-9 hours for the average adult (that means you, parents!), but if you are a student who plays sports on top of going to school, you may need more than 9 hours. In the same way you should also have an established wake-up time every morning. The more consistent you can be on your sleep schedule, the better it will be for your overall energy and focus.
Pack your lunch at least four days per week.
Sometimes it is just easier to buy school lunch or eat lunch out with coworkers. Mornings are hectic getting kids off to school, evenings are packed with dinner, homework, and getting to bed on time. Where is there time to pack a lunch? We get it- the school year is busy and that’s why we recommend being flexible. If you need to eat out during the week once or even twice, that’s okay; and the same goes for your kiddos. But making it a habit to pack lunches at night ensures that you and your kids are eating healthy for the majority of the week. It is also teaching your kids the discipline of prioritizing their health even when life gets busy. Packing a lunch doesn’t have to take a long time. Use dinner leftovers, make a sandwich, cut up some fruit and veggies, or use the items you’ve meal prepped for the week. If you prepare well, it’s a small time commitment that carries a hugely positive impact.
Prioritize at least 15 minutes of no screen time each day.
We’ve written about this before, but taking time away from your screens is really important in today’s super technological society. This goes for parents and kids as well. We spend countless hours behind a computer, phone, or in front of a tv every day for both entertainment and for work/school. The more technology we integrate into classrooms, the more time kids are spending behind a screen each day. In order to let our brains fully disconnect and relax, we need to prioritize social interaction sans technology. Some examples are to have family dinner with no phones every night or institute a specific time where everyone puts their phones/tablets/computers away. It might surprise you how much of a difference a little time away from the screen makes in your every day life.
Now is the perfect time to establish a routine that prioritizes healthy habits in your home for both you and your kids. Stay tuned for some tips on how to build a healthy routine later in the week!