September brings a back to school flurry. For some of us the time flew by, and for some it couldn’t come fast enough! For our children, the new school year can be a great time to get geared up for the year ahead, but for some it brings about a real mixture of feelings. A new year group, different friends, the prospect of siting GCSE’s or A levels can bring feelings of anticipation or anxiety. As exciting as the new school year may be, it can also be a little worrisome.
We believe in living your hiya life, your best life and this is for your children too. So, we wanted to share some top tips to help you and your children settle back into the new school year positively.
More and more there is a real recognition that both the quality and quantity of our sleep is key to our children’s overall health. A lack of sleep can impair their ability to focus, their mood and their confidence. A top tip for quality sleep is to have a good bedtime routine. Start by winding down at least half an hour before bedtime. Get them to shower/bathe, switch off their screens (be firm, as they might complain!), listen to some relaxing music or do some bedtime reading. A warming bedtime drink is also known to help – what about a cup of cocoa, with your milk of choice? A good bedtime routine will help shake off the worries of the day, give sleep better and make them ready for tomorrow.
Going back to school means spending more and more time at a desk or in front of a computer screen, and as the days get shorter and the weather changes it means more time spent indoors. Movement helps greatly with improving mood and reducing stress and anxiety. There have also been scientific studies to show how it helps improve brain power! That is why it is even more important to make sure they make some time to get moving, either going out on their bikes, running round the block, taking a walk or just dancing to their favourite songs!
Healthy kids snacks
It goes without saying we are what we eat and there have been numerous studies showing that the foods that we eat can affect how we feel. Sugar is the real culprit and we are all too familiar with sugar highs and lows that show up in our children in different ways like low moods, irritability or lack of focus. Our top tip for this is to go for low GI foods (Glycaemic Index) and to eat regularly. Their tummies feeling satiated and full is also so important for helping their focus and concentration at school and just generally helping them feel happier. On our website, we have lots of examples of super snacks that will keep your children going through the day as well as the ins and outs of low GI foods. In fact, our Hiya snack bars are a fantastic healthy kids snack as they are low GI and contain all natural ingredients.
Meditation and breathing
By the end of a long school day spent learning, our children’s brains and bodies are tired, and children all of ages just need an opportunity where they can switch off and relax. Meditation is an excellent way of doing this. There are so many YouTube videos for children of all age groups and to start with you can start with a 10 minute simple guided video (see our favourite). The benefits of meditation are being researched, and a number of studies in school settings show that it has helped to improve attention and behaviour and also has helped with children’s’ anxiety, depression, school performance, sleep, and eating disorders. There are also physical benefits as it calms the nervous system and decreases stress hormones.
Don’t forget to have some fun! On a Friday evening after the end of a long week why not watch a feel good movie? One of our favourites is ‘The Greatest Showman’ and so a good singalong too! Plan a games night, get out the Monopoly or Twister or a deck of cards and just enjoy the time together and see the worries melt away.
We hope these tips help you and your children to start your new school year positively and live your hiya life!