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3 Ways to take care of yourself during back-to-school season


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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 09/02/21

Taking a step back from the busy back-to-school days helps you maintain your peace of mind and give your best to your family.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote. Whether it’s life starting over again or just school and activities revving back up, back-to-school season always feels much busier than summer.

Whether your kids are homeschooled, learning virtually, or heading to a brick-and-mortar school, your days are suddenly filling up and the calendar is getting crowded. In all the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to take some time to care for yourself. Taking a step back from the busyness will help you maintain your peace of mind and give your best to your family.

As a mom who homeschools and works from home, I’ve figured out a few ways to make the most of my limited leisure time. Here are 3 things you can do to take care of yourself and hold onto your peace as your days get busier this fall.

1Keep a daily logbook

One of the very best ways to keep a positive mindset is to notice and appreciate what went well every day. To that end, it helps to keep a simple

, a record of successful work that you did during the day.

This logbook doesn’t have to be something complicated. It can be a note on your phone, or a quick list of bullet points in your planner or on your calendar. I take less than a minute to jot down my logbook notes at the end of my kids’ school time.

The idea is to notice and focus on what’s going well and celebrate what you were able to accomplish. Unlike an unfinished to-do list that might leave you feeling like you weren’t productive enough during the day, a logbook reminds you of all the good work you were able to finish.

Think of yourself as the captain steering your family’s ship. Every captain needs a logbook of successful ventures, right? Yours will give you a positive outlook at the end of each day as you realize all that you were able to do. And later on it becomes something fun to reread and remember!

2Take time each week to think through the week ahead

Once a week or so, take a few minutes to think through the previous week. Look at the big picture and regularly tweak the routine so that it better fits your needs. What went well each day, and what did not run so smoothly? 

You might review your logbook or just think about any points of stress that arose. Then you can assess whether to keep the schedule as it is, or change how you approach some things. 

During this weekly review, you might ask yourself questions like these:

  • How can I make time each day for activities that lift my spirit?
  • What can I prepare ahead of time to make this week easier?
  • Are my kids and I developing good habits? How can these improve?

3Pray through the day before it begins

One of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve received is to think and pray through each part of my day early in the morning, and to do this daily prayer in the shower! The shower idea is brilliant because it “pegs” a new habit onto an existing habit, so the new habit won’t be quickly forgotten.

Pick something you already do every morning, such as taking a shower or drinking coffee. While you’re doing it, invite God into every part of your day. Ask for his help for all parts to run smoothly. This simple act of praying through the whole day makes a real difference that you’ll see right away. 

Catholic LifestyleMental HealthParenting
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