back to school prep for them + soul tending for YOU

It’s getting to be back to school season for you and your kiddos.  No littles? Keep reading, this time of year impacts you too!

As a former educator + 17 year veteran of back to school prep, I know you’re laughing…or you’re gonna be. This season is filled with shenanigans and overwhelm – so much so, sometimes you’ve just GOTTA laugh.

Which is a whole lot easier if you’ve made margin for it.

University of Washington, fountain
back-to-school prep is not for the faint of heart, sometimes you just gotta laugh |  me laughing on the University of Washington’s beautiful campus

As you tend to your children, their back-to-school supplies, meeting the teacher and wrangling them back to bedtimes and routines, are you taking a little time to plan to tend to your soul?

Every year I got excited for my son and the potential of a new school year.

It was permission to press the restart before the craziness of the end of the calendar year, but somehow I ended up petered out by Halloween because in all of the planning and preparing and shopping and re-organizing for him, I’d neglected to build in time for me to tend to my soul.

Before you mamas head to Target or Wal-Mart and start (or put the finishing touches) on the back-to-school plans, before you teens plan to sign up for additional elective + AP classes to impress the colleges you plan to attend after graduation, before you collegians volunteer yourselves to join, serve + lead in various organizations on your campus and attempt to work part-time and before you educators throw yourselves into lesson plans and scheduling through the first quarter of the school year, please let me encourage you to lay firm blocks of time into your/your family’s schedule for you to stop, slow, down and pause to intentionally tend to your soul.

We can get so excited (or overwhelmed) in the rigamarole that comes with getting our little ones (our ourselves) ready to return to school that we neglect to carve out time on this end – today –  that we’ll need on the back end – when school is out of session or over.

HERE’S AN ACTIVITY TO HELP YOU!

Before committing to or scheduling one more thing…

1. Grab the following supplies:

  • some way to set a timer (the less connected to your smartphone, the better)
  • a journal or several pages of paper and an easy flowing pen
  • a calendar of the next six months, taking you through January 2,  2019

2. Find a quiet spot to work, notify your people that you’re taking 25 minutes or wait until they’re watching a favorite movie or “resting their eyes” (as my son used to say) and prioritize you!

There is no shame if your quiet spot to work is your closet, laundry room or even your car – whatever it takes to decrease or even eliminate distraction for this time.

3. For 25 minutes –  or longer, if you’re able – start creating the picture of how you’d like to show up for the major holidays you and your family celebrate through January 2nd.

Take about 3 minutes of your time and visualize yourself after all of the festivities of the holidays are done, you’re waking up on January 2nd – how do you feel, what are you looking forward to, what is something that excites you? What are you wearing? PJs, ski suit, swimsuit? Jot that down; the more details the better

Use the rest of your 25 and work backwards visualizing what you want each of those holidays to look like and most importantly how you’re going to show up in them

4. Do this again if you were unable to work backwards to today or the weekend before school begins – or again if your picture isn’t clear enough for you to see a joyful, energized, giving version of yourself when celebrating the holidays.

The point of this activity is to help you revisit what you’ve signed your children + yourselves up for before overwhelming and stressing your schedule and your souls. Hopefully your summer has been about relaxation and rest, but you don’t need to give that all up.

Forcing room for margin in your schedule, will give you room to tend to your soul – which is beneficial to you and those you love most.

How’s that for homework before the school year begins?

Even if you don’t have children at home to prepare for returning to school, this is a great time to reset yourself to be sure you’re making intentional time to tend to your soul. For those who are not yet married and hoping to be – you’re also a beneficiary of this type of activity; what you do now, will be easier to prioritize later in life.

If you think this sounds like a ridiculous task to undertake with “all that’s going on”, this is especially for you. I believe in you – no matter the season or station you’re finding yourself in, this is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Your soul will thank you and your people will too.

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