New School Year, New Stress?

If you have children you are probably settling into a new school year right now. I bet there were so many things on your 'to do' list before the school year even started! I hope that this new academic year is finding you healthy and happy so far. The reality is that for many families, this time of new beginnings is also very stressful. Parents and children find themselves experiencing many new routines, new faces and unfamiliar situations. This can be exciting but for some people, the very busy schedule leads to overwhelm. Frequently feeling stressed out without a healthy way to release the feelings can lead to poor sleeping, increased substance use and irritability. This can ultimately lead to Anxiety or Depression.

You may be facing a new hectic routine which may include having to be in two places at once or activities that conflict with your work schedule or home life. These activities may leave you asking yourself, how do we have time to eat dinner? Children also experience stress when routines are disrupted or days are overscheduled. A too full schedule that is daunting for you may be absolutely overwhelming to a child. Please leave some time for unstructured play and relaxation. It’s okay to say no to some invitations and enjoy just hanging out. You do not have to be perfect, you can't accomplish everything and most activities are not 'all or none'. Please aim for "good enough" parenting and allow yourself to skip a practice, party or club meeting when you feel it is most important for your mental health or your kids'.

While this may not be true for every household in the U.S., women are more likely to carry the majority of the burden of family responsibilities. This includes the children’s activities, homework, cooking and cleaning- even if both partners work full time! Now is a good time to have an open conversation with a partner about what feels like a fair distribution for chores and childrearing. Communicate what you are observing and what you need. Reflect back on the previous school year and summer. Start with the positives. When was the family happiest? What seemed to work well when things were running smooth-ish?  Remember that even young children can get involved with some chores. Also, there's no shame and it's completely ok to ask for help from others or to pay for services that make life easier.

Please remember to practice self-care and prioritize healthy habits for yourself and your kids:

Good sleep routine and enough hours of sleep

Proper nutrition (even when you're on the run)

Stress Reduction activities

Social time with friends and family


Unstructured time to relax and unwind

I wish you a successful school year. If you need help prioritizing your needs, setting limits or communicating boundaries, please give me a call. (561) 508-8809.