Back to school can mean back to stress for many parents and children. There are concerns about clothing trends, bullies, having a friend in a new class, homework demands, and after-school activities.
For working parents, add in the balancing act of being involved enough to be ‘in the know’ while simultaneously trying to give your attention to the demands that jobs require. The new school year brings the fear of the unknown to the surface, and the stress can affect children and parents. Calculate the financial pressures that a new school year can introduce (think: laptop, athletic equipment, tablet, cross-country field trip, textbooks…), and you’ve got yourself a straightforward recipe for stress-induced skin damage: wrinkles. But what if you started the school year without all the stress and found ways to keep the pressure at bay? What if you knew how to get through the school year and not look like you aged a bit? Even better: What if you could finish the school year looking even younger than when you started it? SilcSkin can help.
Schedule: Make one and stay on it. Kids need stability and routine. Try having dinner at the same time each night and the same after-school routine when the kids get home from school (snacks for 20 minutes, homework, homework dinner, or whatever suits your time and your family). Make sure the kids know their schedules and what their next day will entail – whether it’s Tuesday after-school soccer practice or Friday carpool with Joey’s mom. And be sure to let the kids get enough sleep so wake-ups are without argument, which means you will need to stay consistent with bedtimes and lights out so there are no arguments or pleas for more time each night.
Sleep: You need it. We’ll say that again: You Need It! (see our blog from August 2013 about the importance of sleep as an anti-wrinkle aid). And definitely, your kids need it, too. Kids are less irritable and more receptive to learning when they’ve slept enough and aren’t fighting zzzs during the day. Plus, they can recall information better and faster – and that’s better for both of you.
Water and a healthy diet: Leave time in the morning for a healthy, high-carb, high-fiber breakfast. Kids and adults alike will think better and be calmer. Also, avoid a sugary or caffeine-filled diet, even when exhausted. For energy, choose healthier options such as eating a snack with protein and a complex carbohydrate, taking short but more frequent breaks, and even going for a 10-minute walk. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep up your energy and reduce potential wrinkles induced by stress, poor diet, and fatigue. If you need help to be within reach of a (reusable, please!) water bottle, then eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with a high water content, such as watermelon and celery. For a list of water-rich foods and how critical water is to maintaining skin’s smooth texture, check out our previous blog entry: www.silcskin.com/blog/2013/07/hydrate-by-day-silcskin-by-night.
Limit Activities: Schedule Down Time. Depending on the age of your children, you may find yourself – and them as they tag along for sibling activities – racing from one practice to another or from one playdate to another and then back again. Choose activities that allow your children to maintain their (aforementioned) schedules. For example, don’t choose a sport that keeps your daughter up past her ‘breaking point’ or her bedtime, has a three-day-a-week time commitment, and, between homework and school, doesn’t leave room for anything else (such as time with her friends or siblings). Even if you keep the activities under control, ensure you and the kids are getting enough ‘downtime’. This is a time to connect with your child – whether you’re playing, walking, reading, drawing, or just plain talking together, you will find this time hugely rewarding, and the connection will be a stress reliever.
Stay Organized: Sounds simple enough, but it’s not just about writing every event on a calendar – although you should do that so everyone knows their schedule. Remember that ‘lost’ items cause stress and take time to find, so always keep things in their designated place (such as shoes by the front door, backpacks in the kitchen awaiting lunches, and hairbrushes in the bathroom to be used after toothbrushes). By not having to hunt them down, your kids will save tears and anxiety, and you will save another small measure of your youthful appearance.
Ultimately, finding a way to manage and hopefully avoid the trigger points that cause stress at this time of year can lead to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Once you fall into the routines and make better choices about how to spend your precious time, you will feel better about yourself, how the kids are doing, and how you and the kids are doing as a family. You’ll sleep better as a result, and if you wear the SilcSkin pads overnight to actively and proactively decrease the signs of aging, you may find that before you know it, you’ll actually look younger than at the start of the school year. Between the added sleep, improved nutrition and water consumption, the decrease in stress triggers, and using the SilcSkin pads overnight, your skin and your face will thank you, and you will see the ‘smooth’ results of your choices. When you see the reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and just feel better… a new school year will be a welcome sight. Let’s turn ‘back to school’ into ‘back to smooth’ together.