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Tips for a healthier household this school year

Transitioning from summer break to a new school year is a big change for families. And since change can often lead to stress, which can lower immunity, it’s vital to stay healthy—both mentally and physically—once you’re in the midst of the school year.

Here are some tips to help you and your household smoothly navigate the transition and, most importantly, remain as healthy as possible during the school year.

Create a routine

  • Implement consistent morning and evening routines to help everyone adjust to their new schedules.

  • Get school supplies, uniforms and other necessities ready the night before to avoid last-minute morning stress.

  • Create a simple “homework station” so your children can easily find their homework and any supplies when needed.

Keep the focus on nutrition

  • Never skip breakfast; it supplies essential energy for concentration and learning.

  • Eat regular, balanced meals that include a variety of food groups to fuel everyone for their busy days.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.

  • To keep the burden from falling on one person, consider involving your entire family in meal planning and preparation.

Stay active

  • Encourage physical activity, even if it’s a family walk after dinner; try to aim for at least 30 minutes each day.

  • Look for extracurricular activities or sports your kids can participate in during the school year.

Make sleep a priority

  • Aim to get the recommended amount of sleep each night (usually 7-9 hours for adults, 9-12 hours for children and 8-10 hours for teens).

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends.

Prioritize mental health

  • Talk to your children about their concerns and feelings about the new school year.

  • Encourage open communication and provide reassurance and support.

  • Consider mindfulness techniques when things get hectic (consider these special mindfulness games for little ones), or if anxiety or stress occurs.

  • If you or a family member feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, don’t hesitate to seek help from a counselor or other mental health professional.

Build a supportive environment

  • Set up a quiet, clutter-free space for studying to help with focus and efficiency.

  • Foster a positive attitude toward learning and encourage curiosity.

  • Stay connected with teachers and school staff to remain informed and engaged with your child’s education.

Maintain good hygiene

  • Teach proper handwashing techniques—yes, even to your little ones—and remind everyone to wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs.

  • If needed, give family members hand sanitizer and explain when and how to use it.

Stay on top of health check-ups and immunizations

  • Schedule any necessary medical appointments, dental check-ups or eye exams.

  • Ensure that all required immunizations are up to date.

  • Take any prescribed medications as directed and attend regular check-ups with your healthcare providers.

Listen to your body

  • If you or anyone in your family feels worn down or sick, take the time you need to rest and recover.

Have a plan for illness

  • Understand the school’s policy for illness and have a plan for childcare if your child is sick.

Limit screen time

  • Use technology to help with studying and staying organized…but be mindful of the distractions technology can present.

  • Limit unnecessary screen time, especially before bed, to ensure quality sleep and enough time for homework, reading, family interaction and outdoor play.

Stay mentally and socially engaged

  • Make time to enjoy hobbies or creative pursuits that make you feel fulfilled or participate in clubs or groups that align with your interests.

  • Make time for friends and family; social connections can contribute to emotional well-being.

Avoid overcommitting

  • Prioritize what’s most important to you.

  • Be mindful of your schedules, and don’t overcommit to activities or responsibilities.

  • Remember, it’s OK to say no sometimes!

Manage stress

  • Develop strategies to cope with stress, such as relaxation techniques, hobbies, exercise, or talking to friends and family.

  • Break large tasks into smaller, manageable parts—and don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed.

Remember, maintaining health during the school year is a holistic process—one that requires physical, mental and emotional well-being. Open communication and planning can ease anxiety and create a more positive experience for everyone.

Find a balance that works for you and everyone in your household. And keep these strategies in mind for a more successful, enjoyable and healthy school year.