The transition from holidays to the new school year can be a tricky one! There are many adjustments to be made when transitioning back into school. And with this, comes the tendency to feel somewhat ‘out of sync’ during times of change and transition. This can initially impact mood, energy levels, and behaviours. This commonly occurs as humans tend to function according to patterns and cycles. And when those established patterns are disturbed, we tend to feel/behave a little out of sorts. This applies to both children and adults.
The solution to minimising personal disruptions and regaining your sense of wellbeing, is to begin following a routine suited to the new circumstances. Attempting to stay in the limbo of the holiday routine along with meeting the requirements of going back to school can prolong the transition discomfort. The key is to say good bye to the holiday habits and reintroduce the school routine. Unfortunately, this might mean children saying goodbye to longer sleep-ins and hello to an earlier morning alarm!
The best routines for overall wellbeing is all about meeting the basic needs daily. The basics being the things which meet our fundamental physiological and psychological needs, such as: sleep, nutrition, hydration, hygiene, physical activity (play), care and social engagement. Do you have a daily routine for each of the basics? If not, do not judge yourself, rather nudge yourself. Nudge yourself to develop a small daily routine which allows the basic needs to be experienced in a timely and consistent manner.
Here are a few tips for securing the basics into your daily routine…
Sleep: Establish a consistent bedtime and wake time which allows for at least 8 hours.
Nutrition: Plan nutritional meals and eat at consistent times daily to regulate energy levels.
Hydration: Make sure every family member has a water bottle and fills it up with each meal.
Hygiene: Create a hygiene check list chart for the kids: brushing teeth, showers/baths and combing hair.
Care and social engagement: Reading a book to your child is a very nurturing and connective activity which fosters a sense of care, engagement, and bond.
Physical activity (Play): Play is a great keystone habit which can trigger the onset of many other good habits. Playing with children meets the need for physical activity, social engagement and care. It triggers the need for a drink of water. It supports a good night’s sleep. Play is also a great mood booster and supports a child’s overall wellbeing and development. Never overlook the power of play –It’s not silly, it’s silly to not!
Planning a family routine can be tricky but it’s the best plan for a successful transition. Consider what works best for your family and bring the children into the conversation. Their awareness of all the expectations and routines makes all the difference! Have fun with the kids by making visual charts for your family’s new back to school routine. If you would like more ideas on family routines, feel free to make contact and talk to either Jess Nguyen (Wellbeing Advisor) or Thuy Tran (Deputy) for more wellbeing tips!