In-person classes are scheduled to resume in just over a week! That’s hardly any time at all!
What is your back-to-school preparation looking like?
Today we will cover a few tips to get us back into the back-to-school mindset and to make the transition easier…
1. Sleep Quality
Sleep quality is so important. What time is the whole family going to bed and what time are they waking up at during the summer? Will you need to adjust that time once school starts?
It might be a good idea to start practicing getting up a bit earlier and going to bed a bit earlier. Start in small increments!
Did you know that exposure to sunlight early in the morning can actually reset your biological clock and sleep cycle?
It doesn’t happen immediately but if on average you view sunlight at a similar time each day, this will begin to shift your sleep cycle based on that time of day.
- For this to be most effective, make sure you are actually outdoors and not viewing the sun merely through a window.
- Do not wear sunglasses unless you are very sensitive to bright light.
- You do not have to look directly at the sun (nor should you, especially if it is hurting!)
- Do this first thing in the morning when you wake up (or as soon as able)
- If it is bright and sunny out, then even 2 minutes is enough!
- If its overcast, then up to 10 minutes would be needed
- Bonus points if you go outside for 2-10 minutes around sunset / dusk so your eyes can also be exposed to the fading light
2. Meal Schedule
How has your eating / snacking schedule been at home during the summer?
It might be worth it to start adopting a meal schedule that would mirror the one at school!
Bonus points for practicing with younger kids how to open their lunchbox, take out the tupperwear, unwrap the snacks, and then put everything away on their own!
3. Getting the backpack ready!
- If picking out a backpack for a younger child, ensure the sizing is correct. The width of the backpack should be similar to that of the child’s back and shoulders. It should sit just below their shoulders and on top of their hips!
- Avoid carrying unnecessary textbooks or supplies… the weight of the backpack should be maximum 10-15% of the child’s body weight. Make sure your child is wearing both straps, well-adjusted, to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack.
- Maybe even a waiststrap might be appropriate if the backpack is on the heavier side!
4. Desk and computer ergonomics…
If you or your child is an older student who will be spending a lot of time in front of a computer for school, make sure the ergonomics are set up for success!
- should be ideally at eye level (for laptops, consider a riser table, or connecting it to a larger monitor)
Keyboard and mouse
- should be close enough so that you are not always reaching your arm forward for them
- Elbows should be close to body and forearms parallel to ground while using mouse and keyboard
- A mousepad can avoid bending your wrist too far up and creating strain
- Avoid having the table too high because that will cause tension in your neck and shoulders!
- sitting as far back in your chair will allow full use of the back support (ideally, the backrest should support the whole back)
- Feet should be able to fully touch the ground even when sitting all the way back in the chair
- Adjustable chairs and tables can really help!
- Can really help avoid the strain of prolonged positioning
- Microbreaks can be just getting up to move around, get a snack, drink some water, go to the washroom…
- They can also be some postural stretches… E.g. wall angels! Neck ear to shoulder stretches! Reaching arms forward as far as you can until you feel shoulder blades pull apart from each other!
5. Team Sports
- If getting back into team sports, remember…
- Eat well to fuel up and hydrate!
- Stretch and warm up… don’t pull something on day 1!
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
- Listen to your body! Don’t push yourself back too quickly into what you were able to do back in early 2020! If it’s been a whole year since you’ve been that active, your body is going to need time to rebuild that strength and flexibility.
If you are having any aches and pains transitioning back to school, let us know so we can help! 😊