You're standing in the middle of the Wal-Mart back-to-school aisle and are almost done with at least the first child's school supply list. You've even discovered a cute and cost-effective school uniform. But now, the beginnings of what may soon turn into a meltdown starts to come over you. Someone has just grabbed the very last item you needed - and it was the last one in stock.
And this is only the start of your back-to-school shopping adventure. Whether your kids attend public school, private school, or homeschool, you will need to endure the back-to-school shopping experience. There is no way to avoid the shopping, but fortunately there are some ways to avoid, or at least counter-attack, a meltdown by the kids or yourself.
Back-To-School meltdown relief tip #1: Eat
Have you forgotten while on your mad dash that there is something called a meal? Hunger can cause stress, anxiety, and moodiness. Perhaps this is the problem with you, the kids, or both. Before going back-to-school shopping, make sure everyone has eaten. Also bring along plenty of snacks to use as necessary. If you forgot to do these simple, but often forgotten tasks, at least head for the nearest food joint when it is apparent that everyone is in need of some nourishment.
Back-To-School meltdown relief tip #2:Play
Getting frustrated? Try clowning around in the aisles - not enough to alert security, but enough to provide some entertainment for you and the kids. Be sure to do it in front of the other back-to-school shoppers. If everyone's laughing, this should reduce a bit of the chaos at least for a few moments. If you're not brave enough to goof around in this manner, take a break from shopping and take the kids to nearest play area or park playground. Don't just watch them. Play right along with them this time.
Back-To-School meltdown relief tip #3: Nap Back-to-school shopping can be very stressful for some, even just downright tiring. How about you and the kids head home for a nap somewhere in the middle? If everyone is arguing, fussing, and fighting, that is your warning sign that it's time for some afternoon zzz's. The nap will get everyone refreshed and ready to complete the back-to-school shopping in a more peaceful manner. If you add tip number 2 afterward, that's even better.
Back-To-School meltdown relief tip #4: Exercise
This tip actually starts before you shop, but can occur afterwards, as a cool-down as well. Before you head off for your back-to-school shopping, try doing some exercise first. This may sound a little odd to some because back-to-school shopping is plenty of exercise itself. But, exercising before shopping can actually give you the energy and mind boost you need to get motivated. Power yoga is one exercise that is great for this because it stretches the needed muscles, relaxes the mind, and energizes the body.
Back-To-School meltdown relief tip #5: Rejuvenate
Shopping got your head a little foggy? Try taking a vitamin B complex along with that meal. Then, try for a cool-down instead of a meltdown. Spend some quality, relaxing time at home as a family. One suggested way to do this is baking cookies together. The aroma of fresh cookies baking is said to be soothing to the soul. Besides, those cookies will taste good after a long day. While the cookies are baking, try having a family reading circle using books with a little humor in them. The reading will be relaxing and hey "Laughter is the best medicine," right?
-Photo taken by author-