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Back to School Routines

It’s that time of year again – Back to School season.

It seems there are two types of people when it comes to Back to School- those who get super excited and happy at the new outfits and pretty coloured pencils and stationary, and those whose stress hormones sky rocket so much as they panic about all the things they must do they begin to think that a trip to the dentist’s office could be considered a vacation. Even if you fall into the happily perusing the Staples flyer group, Back to School does mean change and change, (even when it is really good change), does mean stress to your body. So how can we manage this change as seamlessly as possible for all members of the family? The answer to that is to implement a daily routine.

Our bodies love routines and rhythms. We are at our best when we really get “into the swing of things.” During the summer our daily routines typically fly out the window with vacations, late nights, sleep-ins, carnival food, visitors etc. The two most important routines to re-establish are sleep/wake and eating schedules.

Sleeping schedules can take some time to re-establish so if you haven’t already begun, now is the time. In the coming month we will be sharing all kinds of information on sleep so stay tuned. For the moment, however, remember to focus on creating a bedtime routine – not just a bed “time”. How do you begin going to bed? Do you start with pyjamas or brushing teeth? Do you have story time? Prayers? What kind of lighting do you have on while your kids are getting ready for bed? Where do the kids sleep? How long do you need for your bedtime routine? There is no Olympic event for getting your kids to bed the fastest, however, having a peaceful bedtime routine (even if it takes an hour) will provide for more sanity for every member of the family. We strongly advise turning off all electronics (TVs, computers, tablets, etc) at least 1 hour before going to bed as they are stimulating and prevent people from sleeping well. This goes for mom and dad, too!

Proper nutrition and eating schedules prevent people from becoming hangry. The old adage of “three square meals a day” holds a lot of truth. It is also always good to have healthy snacks on hand as children can get hungry quickly and melt downs ensue if they are not appropriately fed. Use the next 10 days to re-establish consistent eating times that correspond with your child’s school’s lunch time and to brain storm meal ideas and do the grocery shopping in advance. The two main reasons people make poor eating decisions are:

1. Lack of nutrition knowledge

2. Lack of preparation

There is a lot of nutritional information and misinformation out there. Seek trustworthy sources for your information and don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider how much nutrition training they’ve had. Listen to your body and observe your child’s responses to various foods. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult us – that’s what we’re here for.

Here’s to getting back into the swing of things!

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