6 Back to School Tips for Parents for Staying Healthy this School Year
School is about to be back in session, and along with more structured days comes the task of organizing our kids’ schedules and everything that the school year entails. Not to mention, we have our own daily lives to manage, and even with our best efforts to find balance, there are moments when we start feeling worn out. And who is guilty of this one (me, I’m the problem)? Many of us parents strive not to take sick days -reserving these days for our kids; with many parents still working remotely or hybrid, we are working when we would have taken a sick day pre-pandemic and office life. And if you have kids in the younger grades – germs, sickness, and now Covid have become the norm. In short, we need to try and stay healthy.
Whether you’re juggling a full-time job or staying home to care for the little one and manage the household, as parents, we need to prioritize our well-being and happiness. With all the responsibilities on our plates during the school year, I encourage you to be kind to yourself and seek support to stay in a positive place. Yup, it’s hard and it can feel like work, but focusing on your mental and physical health can make this year more fulfilling and positive. Here are some easy tried and true tips.
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Vitamin C Every Day
Vitamin C may not stop a full-blown head cold, but consuming it will help maintain a healthy immune system Harvard Health Publishing states, “If you want the benefits of vitamin C, you’ll need to consume it every day, and not just at the start of cold symptoms.” Some of us may have vitamin C packs in our bags for when in a pinch. But other ways to get vitamin C in your diet are orange juice, tomatoes, winter squash, and green pepper, to name a few.
Consider the Flu Shot
Every year our children’s schools require students to get a flu shot, yet we, as parents, should also consider this shot. I have mom friends who believe in the flu shot and get the shot once the school year starts while other friends pass. I am pro flu shot as I have found myself to be less sick when I get it. There are times when I have had a rough year of colds and viruses, and I think what shape I would be in if I didn’t get this shot? For more info on the flu shot, check out our article Flu Shot Facts: Common Questions About the Vaccine at New York Family.
Add Probiotics to Your Daily Diet
When my youngest entered daycare a few years back, a tsunami of sickness hit me in that first year, it was brutal. To get on track health-wise – I took my doctor’s suggestions and started incorporating probiotics into my diet. Probiotic foods are simple foods that contain good bacteria. Probiotics alone are not going to cure something like, say the flu — what they do is help you in overall health. Think of them as part of staying healthy by taking them in pill form or eating foods such as yogurt, kimchee, or kombucha.
Self-Care for the Win
Self-care has become a much-needed movement, with moms sharing how they care for themselves, especially by posting through social media. Why do we share with other moms how we care for ourselves outside of our daily lives as kids? Because it is freaking important! Spa, exercising, walking around the park, or hanging with your mom tribe benefits your mental health. This school year- make time for yourself.
Calm in a Bottle
If you have ever done yoga or have gotten an aromatherapy oil massage, then you know that the whiff of certain oils can calm the mind. Since doing a tree pose or downward dog in the office is not always feasible try recycling a beauty bottle and mixing some calming oils, throw in your bag, or keep by your laptop and dabble a bit on when you need a bit of ease to your day.
Some oils to try:
- Lavender: Known for its calming and soothing properties, lavender oil can help reduce stress, anxiety and promote better sleep
- Chamomile: Chamomile essential oil is excellent for relaxation, promoting sleep, and easing tension
- Ylang Ylang: has a sweet and floral aroma that is believed to have aphrodisiac properties and can help reduce stress and anxiety
- Bergamot: This citrus oil has uplifting and mood-balancing properties, making it helpful for managing stress and mild depression
- Geranium: This oil is known for its balancing effect on hormones and can help ease symptoms related
- Lemon: A refreshing and uplifting oil, perfect if more oaky oils are not your thing
Sidenote: Remember, essential oils are potent and should be used properly. Additionally, avoid using essential oils on babies under six months old and use them sparingly around young children.
Sleep Is Non-Negotiable
Around 9:30 pm, my free time starts. Kids are asleep, and I can watch a silly movie and catch up on emails; it’s my time. The problem with this is I should be sleeping. Easier said than done, as having this time to myself is gold. But getting rest is essential, and the benefits are enormous. According to the CDC, “Getting enough sleep is not a luxury—it is something people need for good health.” So as much as you want that free time to write your first novel or start that business, you have meant to get going, designate a night or two to do all this fun stuff, and reserve the rest of the week to catch up with much-needed R&R.