It’s almost here.
In about three weeks, the children will return to school. That means several things.
- First, summer will be unofficially over as we settle back into the routine of school, homework, and activities. Vacations will be over, travelling will be reduced to a minimum, and the fun of summer will be over (except for the upcoming long Labor Day weekend in September).
- Second, the stress is about to go up. Anytime we change, good or bad, our stress levels increase. The first few weeks of school is no exception. Teachers are getting organized and learning about their students. Students are learning about their classes and what is expected of them. Parents are changing the routine. Commuters are effected by the increased traffic. All of us, in one way or another, get a little more stressed when the kids head back to class.
- Third, many people are about to get busier. This is connected to the stress, but it is also more than stress. There will now be extra rehearsals and practices. We will attend games and performances. Non-scholastic activities will kick it up a notch, too. Our calendars will fill up quickly.
So how should we respond? We hate stress, and being busy is not always helpful. I offer three suggestions for maintaining sanity as we transition into the school year in a few weeks.
- First, feel free to say, “No.” Consider the activity you’re about to put on your calendar – is it necessary? What happens if you miss it? Is there something else you should be doing instead?
- Second, don’t forget to take care of yourself. When we get busiest is when we get careless with things like our own health. We get fast food because it’s easy. We skip the gym or the workout because we don’t have time. Make self-care a priority so that when the noise and stress increase, you can handle it well.
- Finally, and most importantly, stay focused on Christ. It is during times of change that we tend to lose focus on God. The transition of the coming school year easily puts our focus on anything but God. Keep that Bible close and the prayer lines open!
I hope and pray that the school year ahead is fantastic for all of us, for our congregation, and for the community!