Sunday, August 13, 2017
Kim Frencken: Back to School Anxiety
I used to practice getting up on time. For. Two. Weeks. I set two alarms, one by the bed and one in the bathroom. Just to be sure. I laid out my clothing. Set my breakfast, ready to eat, in the fridge. Even went as far as laying my toothbrush by the sink. A little overboard? Maybe, but the thought of oversleeping and being late terrified me. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much the first few weeks of school.
Over the years, I dropped the get-up-get-ready drills and simply let the alarm clock do it's thing. I also perfected my organizational skills and got clothes and food ready in advance. I continued having cooking marathons. Preparing meals over the end-of-summer to be ready for the back-to-school fatigue. I knew that I would be tired in the evenings and need to have some meals ready to go.
Preparation. That's the key to relieving anxiety. There is nothing worse than trying to get something ready while the clock is ticking. Like those surprise, "Mom, I need my uniform washed before we leave for school" statements (yeah, some of those are still going to occur). Or, coming home to discover that your husband has invited a friend over? Life is full of surprises. You can't avoid everything or, for that matter, be prepared for everything, but you can be prepared for the normal day-to-day occurrences.
So... here are a few tips from an over the top organizer!
1. Check out these recipes on my Pinterest board- Meal Ideas! I've tried the No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars, Mexican Stuffed Shells, super easy peach cobbler, my variation of Poor Man's Stew, some of the chicken recipes (baked garlic brown sugar), and the 1 pound ground meat with 1 packet of dry French onion soup mix (no name on pin!). They are delicious- Kim tested, husband approved! Since, I've made them over the summer, they are easier and quicker for me to prepare now.
2. Try organizing your kitchen. I know that with kids (or husbands) it isn't easy. It is also time-consuming, but in the long-run it pays off. My pantry is organized by type (vegetable, fruit, cereal, etc). All of the breakfast items are in one easy to see and access location. All can labels are facing out so I can read them. I keep a magnetic shopping list on fridge. I try to keep all recipe staples on hand.
3. Try to keep some mix-&-match outfits in your closet. I like the kind that are wash & wear (hate to iron!!!). I also like the tops (or bottoms) that will go with more than one other item. That way, if I put on something that doesn't fit anymore :( or needs repair, I can easily swap it out for something else. I've updated my Teacher's Life board to include meals, organization tips, and teaching ideas (anything that fell into the make-it-easier-during-the-school-year category).
4. Find a place to post your schedules, as well as, your own. Post them in a high traffic area with important dates highlighted. I carry my planner everywhere! I have all of our dates marked in it with some reminders posted a day or two in advance. May sound crazy, but it beats having to explain to the dentist why you didn't show up for your appointment.
5. Accept that things will not be perfect. Do what you do with your heart and then leave it there. You may burn supper (I do frequently) or a lesson plan may fail and that is ok. Life goes on. Find your mix and let it work for you. Make sure that you save some time for yourself. You can't be your best when you are running on empty!
Now, let's set those alarms and make this the best year ever!
(More of Kim Frencken's writing and information about her products can be found at her blog, Chocolate for the Teacher.)