It is often said that the Fall months are the hardest. Summer is long gone and Christmas Break seems light-years away. How do we get through the long months before Santa Claus pops in to remind us to have some fun?

The key to not getting into a rut is to switch things up every so often. Try a new recipe you’ve never tried before. Go to a different park then usual. Even trying a new route to school can help switch up monotony.

Life is a balance. This newsletter is all about keeping symmetry in all aspects of you and your family’s life.

By Fall, soccer schedules are out, exams have been posted and everyone is in full steam ahead. Hopefully this means that your large calendar on your fridge is busting at the brim – color coded with each family member’s academic and extracurricular responsibilities.

With such a crazy schedule, it is important to also schedule downtime, rbeaks.

On a micro-level, you need to schedule daily breaks. When working diligently on an assignment or studying for a test it is important to take short 15 minute breaks. These breaks shouldn’t be too long and they should not work as a reward, but rather as a mental break. For instance, taking 15 minutes to go play with your pet or take a jog outside. This will reinvigorate you to go back to your task and do your best work.

On a larger scale, your and your family need to schedule in minutes, hours and days that you will unwind together or even separately. For instance, taking that time to sit down and eat dinner together is a key family activity that isn’t difficult to stick to once you start it. Everyone needs to eat right? If a parent is working late or a child has a later activity, putting a 15 or 30 minute fun reading time before bed is a good opportunity to spend time together and unwind together. Families that are only together when they are in go mode are high stress families. You need the good and the bad.

Family is forever, which means you must look at your long-term family scheduled breaks. These don’t have to be extravagant trips to the beach. Just writing down on the calendar that this Saturday after George’s soccer game and before Sarah’s ballet recital the family is going to bring a picnic to the park with the dog instead of eating inside makes all the difference. The reason I suggest writing it down is because you will then not only have the physical reminder on the calendar but you will also be more likely to remember it.

All of this, of course, hinges on your family staying organized even as the semester heats up. Don’t forget what is really important – a healthy, well-rounded and happy family. The best way to achieve this is through organization but all work and no play will not brighten up anyone’s day.

Don’t let Fall bring you down with the leaves. Stay organized and make sure you are taking care of yourself and your family physically and emotionally.

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Alexandria, VA 22314