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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

Easing Stress During the Busy Back-to-School Season

(BPT) - The easy breezy days of summer are coming to a close, and families everywhere are preparing to go back to school. For parents, this is a particularly challenging time of year. To help simplify and make this time more enjoyable, "The Lifestyle Mom" Dana Hilmer has a few tips for busy parents:

1. The temptation to sign your kids up for any and every extra-curricular activity is intense. Before you turn in registration forms, think through how each activity will impact both your children and your family's priorities. Perhaps you want one day of the weekend free or you want to have dinner together four times a week. Once you have assessed your needs, ask yourself if each activity aligns with them.

2. You have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and while it may be easy to provide a good breakfast for your kids, parents often forget about fueling up with the right breakfast for themselves. Perfect for eating on the go, belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits come in two varieties, Mixed Berry and Oats-& Chocolate. They provide 11 grams of whole grains and contain no high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Grab a banana and a latte, and you have nutritious morning energy to help tackle whatever comes your way.

3. It may be easier said than done, but learn how to say "no." Saying "no" gives you permission to say "yes" to things that are truly important to you. Next time you are asked to do something, let that person know that you need to check your calendar. That will give you time to decide if this new activity is truly worthy of your time, and to craft a polite explanation, if not.

4. Finally, create a to-do list that is realistic and achievable. Many people are guilty of having a huge to-do list and then feeling defeated at the end of the day when all of the boxes aren't checked off. Often, a good chunk of things on that list probably have more to do with your own expectations than with what anyone else is expecting of you. Start a to-do list with three sections: the priority of the day for yourself, the priority of the day for your family and the priority of the day for your work. Start with these items and only move on to the others once they're done. Chances are the laundry can wait until another day.

Your children going back to school doesn't have to be stressful. With these tips you can enjoy this exciting, coming of age time with your family.

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