4 Tips to Manage End Of School Year Overwhelm

Jun 03, 2024

Are you struggling to stay on top of everything as the end of the school year approaches?

Traditionally, this is a hectic time of year for many parents — All of the end of the year activities, awards, final parties, field trips, playoffs, recitals…  It can be overwhelming for even the most organized of parents!  I had one mom wondering if she was the only one wishing her son’s team didn’t make the playoffs because she had no idea how she was going to fit that into her already packed schedule.

At the same time, you’re gearing up for the change in schedule with school ending.  For some parents it’s a relief to not have the hectic school year schedule, but if you’re a working parent or you’re not sure what you’re going to do to keep your kids active and engaged it can just add fuel to the fire of overwhelm.

The end of the school year was always a challenge for me.  I really wanted to be present and enjoy the activities and that time of my kids' lives, but it was hard with my mind constantly spinning with the lists of everything that needed to be done on top of figuring out a summer schedule as I was a full time working Mom.  

My most common thoughts were:
There is so much to do
I’m so busy and overwhelmed
My list is really long
I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done
It’s just A LOT
I can’t handle one more thing

Sound familiar?

Although these thoughts are totally normal and expected this time of year, they won’t help you.  Instead they’ll just keep you stuck and spinning, and not present.  

Yes, there is a lot going on and this is a busy time of year.  However, how you think about everything and how you support yourself will determine how effective you are at navigating through the end of year activities and whether or not you become completely overwhelmed by it all.  

I had one working Mom with three young boys who had something going on almost every single day in June.  She could have been completely overwhelmed, but instead she was choosing to think: It’s just a season and I want to make the most of it.  This single sentence was helping her stay calm.

In addition to what you’re choosing to think about this time of year, there are additional things that you can do to help support yourself.  Here is the list of the top 4 tools I’m using myself this time of year so I can get my work done, transition back to having both kids home and having enough food in the house, support them both through the nerves of starting new jobs, and actually enjoy the nicer weather and start of summer. 

I share this list so you can use these tools to help manage any end-of-school-year overwhelm that you might be having too.

  1. I start by calming down my nervous system.  I put my hand on my heart, and I take a deep breath.  I imagine that I’m breathing in pure white light, and the white light goes right to where the overwhelm is in my chest.  I imagine the white light surrounding the overwhelm, and as I exhale I imagine that I’m breathing out black smoke which is the overwhelm leaving my body.

    When you calm your nervous system, you re-engage your prefrontal cortex which is the part of your brain that thinks logically and solves problems, and you want it back online so you can be more productive.
  2. Next, I get everything that I have to do out of my head and onto a list because everything is always worse in my head than it is on paper.  Once I have it written out I estimate how long each step will take me and when I plan to get it done.
  3. I choose some new thoughts that will help me feel more capable, focused, and productive.  Thoughts like:
    I can handle this
    I always get it done
    I always have enough time for what’s important to me
    This is just a season and I want to make the most of it
  4. Finally, I’m using Power Questions to change my brain filter.  Our brains want to prove our thoughts true more than they want us to feel better.  So when I’m thinking my list is really long, and I’m feeling overwhelmed, my brain is going to filter to keep adding to my list and keep me feeling overwhelmed.

    But your brain will also work to answer any question that you ask.  So I’ve been asking:
    Why do I always have plenty of time? 
    Why is it so easy for me to get things done? 

    These questions help my brain filter to find solutions for me.  They help me stay out of overwhelm and just get things done. 

These tools are helping me stay focused so I can get my work done when I’m working, support my kids when they need it, and be more present to just enjoy the various end of year and start of summer activities and limited down time that I do have.  I invite you to try some or all of them to help with any overwhelm that you’re having too.

Did you know that there are simple parenting strategies that can make parenting so much easier?  The problem is that they are completely opposite of our natural parenting instincts and most parents don’t know them.  I’m on a mission to change that by helping parents build a better parenting toolbox, and I’ve made it really easy with my Confident Parenting Club.  Click here to learn more.

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