August 9, 2023
The dog days of summer are coming to a close, and that means it’s time to get ready for the hustle and bustle of another school year – trading in Saturday afternoons at the pool for homework, ballgames, and that seemingly never-ending to-do list around the house. As we countdown to the start of the new school year, Lake Cumberland Physician Practices wants to offer five quick tips to help keep your family healthy and happy.
Plan Ahead. Your meals, that is. Figuring out a nutritious meal that your family will enjoy can be tough at the end of a long day. So rather than waiting until the end of each day, plan out your meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks – before the work week begins. Simple tricks include filling your fridge with easy-to-grab fruits and pre-washed vegetables for quick and healthy snacks; cooking and pre-portioning lunches for the week; and making sure dinner consists of lean meat or fish and vegetables for a well-balanced diet. This will save you time and energy, and make it a little easier to bypass the fast food chains on your way home.
Ditch your digital devices. Smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices are a big part of daily life, but they can also be a big distraction from your loved ones. Try scheduling time for everyone to ditch the device and connect with your family – this could be anything from establishing a “no-phone zone” each night during dinner, during a post-dinner walk with the family, or simply the hour before you go to bed.
Get plenty of zzz’s. Between work, school, extracurricular activities, sports, cooking, taking care of the house, and everything else that gets crammed into a work week, getting a full night’s rest can sometimes be challenging. But sleep is vital to your overall health and well-being. To ensure you and your family get a good night’s rest, the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule
- Practice a consistent, calming bedtime ritual
- Avoid naps, particularly if you have a hard time falling asleep
- Exercise daily
- Ensure your bedroom is cool and calm
- Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow
- Limit caffeine intake
Wash your hands. One of the easiest ways to keep you and your family healthy as the kids head back to school is regularly washing your hands. Train family members to wash their hands as soon as they enter the house to prevent the spread of germs. Always wash your hands before meals. And remember to avoid touching your eyes, ears, nose or mouth whenever possible.
Schedule downtime. An important part of maintaining good health for you and your family is scheduling downtime each week. Aim to have at least one evening each week that is free of work or after-hours meetings, extracurricular activities or practices, or just the busyness that comes with running a household. Use this time to rest, recover and get ready for the coming week.
To reach their full potential in the classroom, students need to be as healthy as possible – both physically and mentally. By following simple tips like those outlined above, you can better prepare your family for the months ahead and make this school year one for the books.
If your family needs a primary care provider or pediatrician, Lake Cumberland Physician Practices can help. Call PRL/visit the Find a Provider tab at LakeCumberlandPhysicianPractices.com to get connected with the right care for your family.