As mothers we look ahead to back to school with mixed emotions. On one hand, we’ll miss the lazy mornings and late nights, but on the other hand we like the return of a regular routine. Unfortunately, one thing our regular routine brings that we’d rather do without is that good ole familiar … stress. Days of school shopping, mountains of back-to-school paperwork to fill out, schedules to juggle, carpools to organize, checks to write, and on and on. Did you know it is impossible and even undesirable to eliminate all stress from our lives? Stress, when properly managed, can actually enrich and motivate us. An effective way to help put your stress to work for you can be found in the following list of tips formed from the word STRESSED.

Simplify.

You don’t need to be busy every minute of the day. Don’t commit to something unless it is truly important to you. Remember your priorities and don’t be afraid to say no. Next, we must …

Take Charge.

Sometimes it is easier for us to allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed rather than take charge and develop a prioritized list of things that need to be done. Resist that trend-develop a list, set priorities, and enjoy the satisfaction of crossing things off your to do list.

Take time to Re-evaluate.

Consider the things that really matter in your life. Sometimes a change in focus is necessary, then make your changes and don’t look back.

End Procrastination.

Avoidance takes more energy than taking action. Even if you’re feeling reluctant to begin a project, once you’re in motion you’ll forget your initial concerns. It may help to start out with the simplest part, and ease into the most challenging. And remember, most feelings of procrastination come from simply being disorganized.

Share the Load.

Even though we as mothers often feel we’re the only ones capable of doing certain tasks, it’s usually not the case; delegate, delegate, delegate. Sharing your load will result in more time for everyone.

Slow Down.

You are pulled in many directions. When you’re feeling like there isn’t enough of you to go around ask yourself this question, “What is most enjoyable and rewarding for me and my family?” Don’t give another thought to wasting your time on activities that are meaningless to you. Life is simply too short to let things pass you in a blur.

Enjoy Yourself and Loved Ones.

When we allow our leisure time to decrease, we may see our relationships suffer. Take time out to play. Show your family and friends with one-on-one time how important they are to you.

Develop Positive Thinking.

Focus on the positive. Take a look around you. Right now, stop and make a list of five things for which you are grateful. Your list will serve as a powerful reminder of just how much is going right in your life.

Don’t be afraid of the inevitable back to school stress. Enjoy these final days with your children, use the preceding tips, and most of all remember, you can handle anything … you’re a mom!