Five Easy Ways to Start the School Year Refreshed and Ready

A new school year is just weeks away. The morning crawl to the coffee machine as your one, two, or even four kids roll out of bed, grab their milk and cereal, and plop themselves at the table with messy hair and sleepy eyes. Mom and Dad are scrambling in the kitchen: “Breakfast? Check! Lunch pail? Check! Water bottles? Check. Lunches packed for baby, mom and dad? Check. Wait, has anyone fed the dog?”

Let’s face it - between packing lunches, pepping for work, and getting everyone to school on time with both shoes on and hair brushed, the mornings can be a scramble! The beginning of the year is an adjustment for even the most experienced parents. No one has it perfectly together and there is no magic formula for calming the craziness. However, there are some things that you can do to make sure that you – mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, or any caregiver -are caring for yourself first so that you can give to your children from an overflow, rather than an empty cup. 

Here are five ways to take care of yourself as the back-to-school hustle begins:

  1. Treat Yourself

There is nothing like brewing an entire pot of coffee just to realize you never even got a cup! If your budget allows, give yourself permission to leave home a few minutes early and treat yourself to a coffee or tea, not prepared by you.

  1. Paper Plates = No Dishes

Run to Sam’s Club and pick up a jumbo pack of eco-friendly, disposable plates. When done eating, toss the plates and spend the next twenty minutes recharging and preparing for the following day instead of scrubbing spaghetti sauce and salad dressing off the plates at the kitchen sink. While this is definitely not a long-term solution, it is one way that you can relieve some of the pressure of the day-to day chores like doing the dishes.

  1. Take a Walk 

In Southern California, it is hot by 9am, so time outside can feel limited. Starting and ending your day with a quick walk, either solo or as a family, can become a special time each day to pause and clear your head. The fresh air before the day begins, and again to end the day offers the opportunity to reconnect with yourself and your family. Spend the morning praying for your kids’ day, their teachers and school. Spend the evening praying for your growth as a parent. The Power of a Praying Parent has great written prayers to reflect on as you walk. 

  1. Make Everyday Tasks Enjoyable 

If you are able to “tune out” for a few minutes, grab your airpods and recharge by listening to some fun music, a book read-aloud, or even a great podcast Liturgies for Parents Podcast has relevant and short guided prayers. Wiping down the kitchen counters and sweeping up kitty litter is so much more fun when you can listen to something great at the same time.

  1. “Mom” or “Dad” Nights 

We know not everyone has the luxury of an available partner or free childcare, but if your schedule with your partner allows, trade off one week a month where Mom holds down the fort and does something a little extra fun (ice cream out, board game, movie and pizza night, whatever is your family’s version of fun) while Dad has some time to himself to work out, grab dinner with a friend, golf. Then switch - the following week, it’s Mom’s turn! Go get coffee with a friend, window shop, whatever you do that allows you to take care of you. Flipping the script to whoever stays home with the kids by calling it their night is essential here. If Mom stays home, it’s Mom’s night; if Dad stays home, it’s Dad’s night. This makes staying home a “get to” instead of a “have to,” and will establish a special memory and rhythm for your family for years to come. If resources allow, maybe even integrate a third night a month where Mom and Dad can get out together. Remember that healthy relationships start at home. Invest in your relationship first and your kids will benefit. 

While every family has their own resources and version of self-care, take time before school starts to make a short list of five easy and affordable things that you and your partner can do for yourselves to ensure you are giving your best self as the school year ramps up again. Remember: no parent has the secret formula, and there is no such thing as a perfect parent; everyone is learning. Creating space for yourselves will keep you and your partner, the captains of the ship, firmly planted as your little sailors are looking to you for guidance.


Heights Christian Schools has developed a vision of serving the community by offering private education that is affordable to as much of the populace as possible. Partnering with parents since 1981, our schools provide a small campus feel where students are known by name and embraced as individuals, with the support, resources, and collaboration of a large, well-established school system. Heights Christian Schools provides a secure and nurturing educational environment for children, 6-weeks old through 8th grade. Our schools are known for the quality of student life, the strength of their academic programs, a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, and tremendous support from parents and families. Heights Christian Schools seek to educate students to know Christ personally, excel academically, think biblically, and positively impact their community for Christ. Currently, our schools serve the communities in and around Brea, Chino Hills, La Habra Heights, and La Mirada. To learn more, visit us online at or call 714-921-9070.

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