5 Stress Tips for Back-to-School
Whether you are a student, or you are sending your children off to their first day of a new school year, going back to school can be a stressful time. We all want to eat healthy and stay well, so we can carry out our daily tasks. When we are busy or adjusting to changes in our schedule or routine, it can be hard. By allowing yourself to get stressed, you increase your cortisol levels, which control appetite, energy and several other metabolic functions within the body. If stress keeps your cortisol levels elevated, it can make it very difficult to maintain or lose weight. Cortisol can also increase cravings for unhealthy food, which could lead to increased health risks in the future. In a personal interview, Dr. Zonia Acosta MD. states, Some of these health risks include high blood sugar, hypertension, and diabetes to name a few. Rather than allowing this busy time of year to get the best of you, try to focus on the positive and be proactive about back to school planning.
Five Tips To Keep Stress at Bay When Settling Into a New Back To School Routine
Plan ahead. Once you know the class schedule, do yourself a favor and buy all the books and required materials you or your child will need. This ensures that you will not be scrambling around trying to find the correct materials the day before classes begin. Do this for new activities, sports and clubs that are starting up again. The more prepared you feel, the less stress will affect you.
- Stay organized. Buy yourself a planner or an easy-to-use app where you can manage all of your due dates, meetings, and assignments. If you try to remember all of your engagements, you are bound to miss or double book something important. Having your plans written down in ONE place, you can have a visual help to remember all that needs to be done. Using a calendar app on your phone or computer adds an optional audible reminder if you don’t trust yourself to see the reminders. This can be especially helpful when you’re adjusting to a new routine. Taking steps to stay organized will help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed.
- Focus on the positive. Out with the old and in with the new! This is a new school year with new beginnings. You or your children will have new classmates, new instructors, and a blank slate for grades. Take advantage of all the new changes and opportunities. If you embrace changes, rather than reacting with fear or dread, your kids will too.
- Exercise. Science has proven that, among other health benefits, increased physical activity reduces stress. “Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins”. While you’re working out a new schedule, back to school also presents the perfect time to work in a new or revised (even resurrected) fitness routine. So when you get home from school or work, take time for exercise and let the stress of the day melt away.
- Don’t forget about YOU! When busy days are consumed with taking care of others and trying to remain organized, we often forget about taking care of ourselves. Taking a little time out of your day to do something for yourself can improve your mood and take your mind off what is stressing you. Remember, it is hard to take care of others to your full potential when you are not taking proper care of yourself and your overall health.
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed with getting back in the swing of the school year, new activities and a new routine, stop and remind yourself to enjoy this moment because it is fleeting, choose to see the positives in the midst of what feels like chaos, and maybe let the little things go for a while. Follow these tips to proactively manage stress and maintain your health and weight loss progress.