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The Secret to Making Back to School Mental Health Easy: Prioritizing Self-Care and Routines

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The Secret to Making Back to School Mental Health Easy: Prioritizing Self-Care and Routines

The Secret to Making Back to School Mental Health Easy: Prioritizing Self-Care and Routines

In this episode of Women’s Mental Health Podcast, Randi Owsley, LMSW, and Jessica Bullwinkle, LMFT, address the unique challenges during the back-to-school season. Dive into insightful conversations about self-identity, establishing routines, and maintaining mental well-being. Gain valuable coping skills and self-care strategies to empower yourself during this transitional period. If you're seeking mental health resources, feeling alone, or struggling with self-identity, this episode is a must-listen.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the upcoming back-to-school routine? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Our website provides valuable information on back-to-school tips and ways to prepare for the school year. We understand the importance of establishing a routine for a smooth transition back to school, and we're here to help you navigate the challenges that come with it.

Discover coping skills and tools you can use to manage the back-to-school hustle. Find resources that will assist you in managing your time effectively, staying organized, and creating a structured schedule that works for you and your family. Learn about morning routines for school days, meal planning techniques to simplify busy school weeks, and effective study strategies for students. With our guidance, you can embrace the school year with confidence and make it a successful one.

Get ready for some insightful conversations on our upcoming podcasts. We will be covering important topics that will help you navigate the back-to-school season with ease and prioritize your mental well-being. Tune in to discover tips for creating a successful back-to-school schedule that sets you up for academic and personal success. We'll also delve into self-care strategies specifically tailored for the back-to-school season, because taking care of yourself is crucial during this time. Learn about the importance of establishing a healthy routine for your mental well-being and find effective stress management techniques to handle the pressures that come with going back to school. Stay tuned for engaging discussions and expert insights on these topics and more!

Sure, here's a list of 10 frequently asked questions about back to school routine and mental health, along with their answers:

  1. What can I do to reduce back-to-school stress?
    Answer: To reduce stress during the back-to-school season, try planning ahead, staying organized, and practicing self-care. Taking small steps, such as starting a few days earlier, creating a detailed to-do list, and prioritizing sleep and exercise, can go a long way in reducing your stress levels.
  2. How can I establish a healthy back-to-school routine?
    Answer: Establishing a healthy back-to-school routine is all about planning ahead and being consistent. Start by setting specific goals, such as waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. Plan out healthy breakfasts and lunches, allocate time for exercise, and make sure to include time for relaxation and self-care Back to School.
  3. What are some effective time-management strategies for back to school season?
    Answer: Effective time-management strategies include breaking down large tasks into smaller chunks, using a planner or calendar to manage your schedule, and prioritizing important tasks. Consider delegating tasks where possible, and make sure to schedule in time for breaks and self-care to avoid burnout.
  4. How can I balance academics and self-care during the school year when going Back to School?
    Answer: Balancing academics and self-care requires careful planning and prioritization. Make sure to schedule in time each day for self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or time with loved ones. Learn to recognize when you need a break, and don't push yourself too hard.
  5. What are some effective study techniques for students for Back to School?
    Answer: Effective study techniques include breaking down material into manageable chunks, using active recall and repetition to reinforce learning, and taking regular breaks to avoid burnout. Consider using tools such as flashcards, study groups, and online resources for extra support Back to School.
  6. How can I support my child's mental health during the back-to-school transition?
    Answer: Supporting your child's mental health during the back-to-school transition involves creating a supportive and non-judgmental environment, encouraging open communication, and modeling healthy coping strategies. Validate your child's feelings, encourage them to express themselves, and seek professional support if necessary.
  7. What is the relationship between sleep and mental health?
    Answer: Sleep and mental health are closely linked – getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal mental health. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges, while getting enough quality sleep can provide a range of benefits, including improved mood and cognitive function.
  8. What are some self-care strategies for parents during the school year?
    Answer: Self-care strategies for parents include setting aside time for relaxation and self-care, reaching out for support from others, and practicing stress-management techniques such as meditation or yoga.
  9. How can I prioritize schoolwork without sacrificing my mental health?
    Answer: Prioritizing schoolwork without sacrificing your mental health requires careful planning and time management. Set realistic goals and be kind to yourself when things don't go according to plan. Avoid overburdening yourself with too much work, and don't be afraid to seek help or support when you need it.
  10. Where can I find resources for managing mental health during the back to school season?
    Answer: Resources for managing mental health during the back-to-school season are available through a range of sources, including schools, mental health organizations, and online resources such as blogs and podcasts. Consider seeking support from a counselor or therapist, or reaching out to a mental health hotline for immediate assistance.

Ways to Unwind and Relax

Meditative, Relaxing, Mental Health Coloring books developed by licensed psychotherapists Randi Owsley and Jessica Bullwinkle – Available on Amazon Today!

The Secret to Making Back to School Mental Health Easy: Prioritizing Self-Care and Routines

[00:00:00] Randi: Welcome to the Women's Mental Health Podcast with Randi and Jess, two licensed psychotherapists, where we talk about mental health, well being, and strategies for coping with life's challenges and how it's all normal and you're not

[00:00:11] Jess: You are so not alone and you are in the right place, my friends.

[00:00:15] Randi: In this episode, we are diving into the essential topic of resetting for academic success in our back

[00:00:21] Jess: I can't believe we're saying back to school already. I can't believe it. Okay. We will be sharing valuable tips on transitioning from summer. To the school routine, um, establishing healthy, you know, habits and effective time management strategies because I know I need those.

[00:00:37] Randi: So

whether you're a busy mom, you have multiple roles, you're a working mom, you're a stay at home mom, you're going back to college, or you just need some more self care and coping skills, this episode is going to provide you with the guidance you need to reset and start the school year off right.

[00:00:53] Jess: Alright, so grab your headphones, headphones, how old am I?

[00:00:57] Randi: AirPods

[00:00:59] Jess: and get ready for some conversations that are going to give you some insight and practical advice from us experts in women's mental health.

[00:01:07] Randi: So have you ever had these thoughts?

[00:01:10] Jess: Where did summer go?

[00:01:11] Randi: How do I avoid the meltdowns that come with a whole new routine?

[00:01:15] Jess: And she's talking about us adult meltdowns, not

[00:01:17] Randi: just summer. Yeah, both, yeah.

[00:01:19] Jess: Okay, so why is it so hard every year when we know it happens every year?

[00:01:24] Randi: I thought I would be ready for my kids to go back to school, but I am not.

[00:01:28] Jess: Right, you know, I always saw those people who were like, my kids and they did all these memes where their kids are going back to school and they're like having a drink and a martini and waving them off.

I don't know if I'm that person or not.

[00:01:39] Randi: I get kind of like a little sad before, and then I'm like, okay, now I'm ready to get out. But, or, and then like, oh my god, there's so much to do. Lunches, backpacks, you know, dealing with the teachers, homework. I don't want to deal with that, you know.

[00:01:51] Jess: the back to school clothes.

And oh my gosh, okay. So as fall approaches, many of us are getting ready to send our kids back to school or heading back to college ourselves, right. So it can be a difficult transition after really truly being kind of laid back. , having longer days of summer, , but we're going to give some different tips and, let's see if we can make it a little easier on ourselves and you,


[00:02:15] Randi: it's especially hard for us because we live somewhere where it stays late until like 10 p. m. at night.

[00:02:21] Jess: like she means light, light, late,

[00:02:22] Randi: late, late, late.


um, it's also like a time transition for us to get our kids and ourselves back to bed earlier Back to School.

So, here's some tips for parents. For those of you who are parents and getting back into the school routine, it can definitely be a challenge. , these are things that we think will help make the transition smoother or that have worked for us.

[00:02:45] Jess: This is actually what we do as, , and you had talked about, we start the transition early, right? We start about two weeks. Like, I'll be honest, we didn't get up till 10 30 this morning because we're all on summer break, We start about two weeks earlier. We start getting us up a little bit earlier each day because I hate when like all of a sudden that alarm goes off at six and the kids have to get up and they're like, But, but,

[00:03:08] Randi: right and so or so tired,

[00:03:10] Jess: so about two weeks before we start getting him back into more of a regular routine,

[00:03:15] Randi: Yeah going to bed at the same time getting up a little bit earlier at the same time

[00:03:20] Jess: set meals, believe it or not, during summer, we're a little bit more, eh, whatever. But during winter, we're like, no, no homework. We have dinner. We got to get our showers done. We and really

[00:03:33] Randi: to

[00:03:35] Jess: Get it kind of

[00:03:36] Randi: Yeah, and that leads into creating a plan. So sit down with yourself, your partner, your child, and create a plan for the school year. And I think that that's very empowering because it gives, not only does it make you feel a little bit more in control, but it gives the kids… Kind of a


and makes, yeah, it gives them a little bit more control Back to School..

And then they have goals that they can work towards to make sure that they're meeting those expectations or those rules. And that allows them to kind of have a framework to work within.

[00:04:08] Jess: And talk about what their goals are for this, , what activities.

we have neighbors across the street that, you know, their boys are in like lacrosse and they're in like football and then they're doing tennis and they're doing soccer. So how does that all work? Because that also is making plans for meals. Mm-hmm. , believe it or not, it's kind of like, okay, who's tag teaming meals

this month?

[00:04:28] Randi: you know, whatever. And, you know, all those things, even if you're in college and you have like roommates and stuff like that, like setting up a plan with them, like, , who's doing groceries?

Who's doing this? Who's pitching in for this? So there is

[00:04:41] Jess: What? What? Communication. And

[00:04:44] Randi: that helps. So much with relationships and mental health, no matter your age.

[00:04:48] Jess: One of the things we've learned in our house, especially because like we talk about, , it's really light here.

10 o'clock, 11 o'clock at night, it's still light. We're not in Alaska, but oh my

gosh. Right.

, is that… I do what I call, and I've talked about it in previous episodes, is I call buttoning up the house. I'm putting the house to sleep. , we shut the

[00:05:06] Randi: And I've taken Jess's tip and used that too, , like shutting the, like you said, shutting the blinds.


on the lamps. Yeah,

turning off all the electronics and things like that. Like all these signals,

[00:05:17] Jess: quieting down the house, ? ? Back to School. Like The volume goes lower and so we're preparing for sleep and that kind of helps our house get ready for sleep too because otherwise, like right now our blinds are open all the time because we don't care, but as we get ready for school, we have to start setting our brains to go, oh yeah, I should be asleep by like nine

[00:05:36] Randi: Yeah, we need to reset our internal clocks. another important tip is to let your child take responsibility. I know some of us can kind of be like helicopters or like takeover stuff if we don't like the way things are being done, but it is Important to encourage your children to take responsibility for like their chores and their school year.

So like packing their own backpacks, packing their lunch, setting their alarms, setting out their clothes, whatever that looks like

[00:06:03] Jess: Making their own lunches the night before. They are capable of making their own lunches.

[00:06:10] Randi: before. They are capable of making their own lunches. Yes, and it will help them feel more important, feel like more part of the family and it can take a huge load off of you as a parent.

[00:06:20] Jess: parent.

And part of this too is we let our kid we have her go shopping with us because I'm like, I don't know what you want for lunch and I'm not

paying for lunch anymore.

[00:06:27] Randi: Yeah. So pick out things you're actually going to eat


[00:06:32] Jess: What is it you want to eat?

 We have her shop with us. Back to School. And so she can go, okay, I want that this week. Because her being ADHD, , she, we, I'll eat bananas and bananas and bananas. And then she's like, I'm never eating bananas again.

[00:06:44] Randi: Yeah.


[00:06:44] Jess: we're on to apples. Yeah. Okay,

[00:06:46] Randi: Yeah, and make a list, put it on the fridge, whatever that needs to look like for you. Let them, , divvy it up and Give them some more crap to do and take it off of your plate,

[00:06:55] Jess: do I also talk to parents and kids like who are starting college. What does that look like? Whether they're living at home or they're living off in a dorm or off campus, The first part is preparing as well, just like you do in high school, middle school, elementary school is, , sitting down and figuring out what this looks like.

And for a lot of people, I'll tell them, go visit your campus. Get your schedule and go walk around so you know how to get to your classes,

where they are, where your bathrooms are, where your food is,

where you park.

[00:07:30] Randi: Always done that

for even elementary school up to high school with my kids and even college Back to School..

For me, I was always highly anxious, which I was undiagnosed ADHD, so that's why. But it helped calm me and center me and my daughter's the same way. She needs that. My son's the same way. I cannot believe. On the first day of school, at elementary school, when I walked my son to campus, how many kids were lost?

They had never been to the school, they had no idea who their teacher was, they had no idea where to go. It was like panic, and all these yard duties and teachers were like, we need printed lists, we need printed lists of all these kids names. These kids don't know where they're going, they don't know. And they're trying to connect these kids back to school.

I was, like, literally so shocked. I shouldn't be. I don't know why things shock me anymore. , , the kids were upset, the teachers were upset, the yard duties were upset, , , for a first day of school, , that was, like, a lot. , just something so simple as taking, you know,, 30 minutes out of your day to make sure you know where you're going.

And I would do that, too, with, like,, a new job or anything, like, you know? Back to School. So like Jess said, even if you're in college, like do these things and see these things and walk through it or visualize

[00:08:41] Jess: That's so funny. We used to do that too. She always wanted to know where the playground was, right? Where's the good slide?

[00:08:47] Randi: Yeah. Where are the


swings? And a lot of schools do that. They have like an open house day where you can come and walk around, but I think like either people don't know about it or they just don't. think that they have time for it but I feel like it's very important because it centers you and grounds you.


[00:09:01] Jess: of schools don't though Yeah,

and so we would always be the ones that like find out what the classroom is go peek in if


can Walk around the campus drive around And so do the same thing, ?

 Get your schedule get your routine in for college, figure out what it's gonna look like and How can you or your parents help make that transition or help your children make the transition easier, ? When are you going to study? When are you going to do your classes, Don't take a morning class if you're not a morning

person. ? And I learned that in college too. And I learned how to manage my schedule so that I , benefited me the most because I'm not a morning person.

[00:09:38] Randi: So I took later classes. Like I wanted, I had to work certain days. So then I took all my classes , , Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and then had, , Tuesday, Thursday off and I would work. Back to school Also, if you're in college, , or in high school, , getting involved on your campus, like, clubs and organizations, those can make you feel like more of the community, and make that transition easier, like, I thought I would never ever join a sorority in my whole life, and I ended up joining one in college, But it made me have that community that I needed because I was away from my family and it gave me that secondary family Back to School..

And I, you know, I was able to develop, like, develop deep friendships because of that. And that in a way is leads into practicing self care.

[00:10:19] Jess: Well, and let's be real. If you have friends on campus and in class, you are more likely to go. . And that is part of it, is if you don't feel connected or your child doesn't feel connected, they're not gonna leave their

[00:10:31] Randi: Yeah, you have no skin in the game or whatever, and it was too like my, my sorority held me to a standard academically too. I had to meet certain grades to be in my sorority and we had study groups and we had things and they would check in like, are you doing this? And. People think, Oh, like partying or whatever, but it wasn't just that, , so I had somebody to check in, with like, yes, I am meeting this or yes, I'm struggling with this. Has anybody else had this professor? Like, how can you know, help me with this? Those things all lead into making sure you're getting enough stuff. sleep, enough exercise, enough, , time with friends and getting your work done.

your homework. Oh,

yeah, and your homework.

[00:11:07] Jess: your homework, ? , it's really stressful when you start college,

That first

year can be really hard. , and it's important to have the self care set up, , know where your gym is, know where it's safe to walk,

get into a group that does more physical activity. If that's what you need as



your stress relief, , , one of the colleges I went to, , they did, , yoga.

You had to take, , an exercise class. Right. And

[00:11:33] Randi: they

[00:11:33] Jess: yoga. And I was like, that is


[00:11:35] Randi: You're like, done.

[00:11:36] Jess: Done.


[00:11:38] Randi: Yeah.

So get involved, set a schedule, practice self care, start transitioning early, visualize that, get your routine down, write it out if you need to. And , hopefully these tips can help you for a smoother transition.

[00:11:53] Jess: You know, the last one I was going to say for a tip is that we don't go and buy a bunch of brand new clothes right before


, and a lot of kids are like, I need new clothes and you're like, but it's still hot. Go buy like one outfit, maybe two, so they can have their new first day of school outfit.

we would wait until the weather transition. I mean, now we have

uniforms, so I'm so

[00:12:14] Randi: you don't, need to make it this huge financial burden.

I feel like it can be a huge financial burden, especially for, , single moms and

stuff like that. Back to school Or yeah, like I have noticed too, like, We have so many school supplies in our house, , I tell my kids, shop our closet, dude. We don't need anything from, , Target or Walmart again. We probably have it in a drawer Back to School..

And So,

I've learned that I don't need all the new, my kids don't need all, they don't really care. It was always me. I need the new, latest. You don't need new scissors. You don't need a new ruler. You don't, it's going to be trash at the end of the year anyways. So, who cares? And just get those few things that you need.

And then, Don't let it stress you out.

[00:12:54] Jess: Exactly. we've gone to a couple of different schools through the years and like they'll have these school lists that you need everything, for the classroom. And I'm like, I can't pay 300 to get you everything for your class.

 You can bring like one thing. Just because they give you a class suggestion doesn't mean you need to bring

[00:13:11] Randi: Right,

it's not necessary. Back to school and what I do is I ask the teacher, what do you need? , if they need glue sticks or they need tissue, and then I'll go a buy a big thing of it from Costco and give it to them. So they have enough for the whole class, but I, and then, you know, I spent, you know, like 15 or 20, not 300.

And it's like, because I have that crap in my drawers at home and they don't need 20. Two new different colored erasers at the end of school I opened up my kid's backpack. There's all the brand new school supplies still in their packages that he's never used I'm, like, okay.

Why did I buy that again? So don't stress yourself out

[00:13:44] Jess: Get what you can. It is not a competition. You know, yes, they need tissue. Yes, they need sanitizer. Yes, they need whatever. But you just get what you can and you don't need to buy. Everything off the list. Really, truly, if you can afford it, fantastic.

Wait for it to go on sale. Wait to see what they really

[00:14:03] Randi: need.

Right, exactly. Back to School. I usually now just wait and be like, Do you really need this? Cause it's like, We'll end up with all these extra binders or all this extra and then she's Oh, I really needed this, you know,

size. Or this. Or

this composition Right. Or this. And it's like, Oh my gosh.

Okay. So, Thank you guys for tuning in. And we hope you join us next time for more mental health tips and tricks.

[00:14:23] Jess: And good luck with the school year,

[00:14:25] Randi: good luck with the school year, guys.

We've got it. Woo!

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Back to School Podcast S2 Ep 9

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