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Four Ways to Beat the Back To School Blues

The heady mixture of excitement and dread shared by both teachers and students each fall can have a potent effect. Although both groups are in need of extra sleep to deal with increased work and pressures, teachers and students alike often find themselves lying sleepless late into the night while going over mental checklists and running through every scenario to work out contingency plans.

The irony here is that these late-night planning sessions often result in a bleary-eyed zombie walk to the coffee pot the next morning rather than effective, full-scale assaults on the day.

But there are ways to beat the Back To School Blues. Allow us to offer just a few:

  • Accentuate the Positive – Make a mental note that this year, you are going to focus on improvements and positive developments. Although analyzing shortcomings and failures is a necessary first step toward correcting them, it does no good to wallow. Keep a notebook in which you write down one positive development for each day of the school year, thus focusing your day on looking for something to add to your list.


  • Plan for Disaster – Most of us decide when to get up based on how long it’s going to take us to get ready added to the length of our commute, meaning that any unexpected glitch in our routine spells absolute diaster. Building a twenty-to-thirty minute cushion into our morning routine may lose us a tiny bit of sleep, but it will give us time to deal with the minor disasters that seem to plague our mornings. On the bright side, if nothing goes wrong, we’ll have twenty extra minutes to sit and actually enjoy our breakfast or to sip an extra cup of coffee while we watch the sun rise.


  • Modify Caffeine Consumption – Although an afternoon or evening cup of coffee works as an emotional pick-me-up, every cup that we drink not only decreases the chances that we’ll fall asleep in a timely manner but also lessens the overall effectiveness of caffeine over time. The more coffee we drink, the more or brains compensate for the amount of caffeine we’re consuming, meaning that we’ll have to drink more and more in the long run in order for it to have any effect.


  • Keep a Balanced Psyche –  At one time or another, we’ve all fallen into the trap of making this time of year all-school-all-the-time, a road that’s sure to lead to burnout. It’s true that at times we will need to bring some work home with us, but it’s also true that the work quite literally never stops. So it’s important to learn where to draw the line for the day, when to put down the red pen (or scissors or glitter or plastic model of the solar system), have dinner, and unwind.


The truth is that although responding to the call of education will never be easy, there are steps we can take to mitigate the overwhelming affect it can have on our lives. Beating the Back to School Blues can be a good place to start.

For more information, please feel free to contact us.

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