It’s June and we’re all hitting the wall: a never-ending, cold and wet spring that the CBC dubbed “June-uary” has affected us all. Kids are wound up, and parents are tired. We need summer to start: Stat.
We’re nearly there. But not yet.
Lest we forget, quite similar to pregnancy – which isn’t really nine months, but ten – the school year is a actually a full ten months long. That is a long time to be doing school runs, daycare drop offs, ferrying kids to and from activities, meal prep, laundry, cleaning houses, homework and the myriad of other tasks on the to-do list that is never quite ticked off.
House cluttered? Check.
Bags of winter clothes shoved into a hockey bag, to be stored away? Check.
Junk drawer that once was one, is now a full dresser jammed with adorable pictures that might be a snowman, or a math problem? Check.
No one’s ever going to say that having children isn’t the most incredible experience of your life, but it’s also draining. Once June hits, there are moments where you wouldn’t hesitate to sell one of your children for profit because they’re driving you a little crazy. And there’s fear that lies behind many parents’ glazed eyes at the moment: the knowledge that yes, summer is coming but you are also going to be knee-deep in camps, vacations and sometimes figuring out what to do with your kids.
But right now, we’re all hitting the wall.
Ask any runner if they have hit the wall, and chances are the answer will be ‘yes’. According to a Stanford study, 43 percent of runners have “hit the wall” – the moment where glycogen stores are low, and you feel like you physically can’t move another mile. You have a parched mouth, your muscles are aching, you have no air left in your lungs and everything wants to give.
Rather like how June feels for a parent.
But, you can push past this. Dare I say, we are all going to get to the last day of school and cross the finish line with our arms in the air. This is a marathon, people, not a sprint! And, to make sure your legs are still working at mile 26, here are a few health tips to get you through…
Five Health Tips For Surviving The End of the School Year
1. Sleep: In Greg Wells’ latest book, The Ripple Effect, Wells argues that sleep is central for our health – we control our appetite better, recover from workouts faster, our mental health improves and we can think, problem solve and learn better and are more creative The ripple effect of more sleep equals a healthier and happier life. If you are going to get through June, you have to get some sleep. You can watch Homeland in July.
2. Eat: I can’t emphasize enough how important fuel is for your body. A handful of Goldfish crackers and leftover cucumbers from their lunches doesn’t constitute a healthy lunch. Make sure you are getting tons of fresh vegetables and fruit to up your vitamins and minerals; eat protein with every meal and have energy balls on hand. They are super easy to make (see recipe below). Keep them stashed in your purse or your car for a quick energy boost. You need energy to push through the next month.
3. Stay hydrated: Your muscles don’t work if you are dehydrated. Neither do you. And caffeine depletes your hydration stores. Stay watered in the next month.
4. Take shortcuts: If budget allows, order in once a week or go out – it doesn’t have to be fancy, but recognize you don’t have to cook every meal.
5. Exercise: It is a known and well-researched fact that exercise improves your level of energy. As you hit the wall, remember what runners to – they push through. Get outside, even if it is for a brisk walk, and soak in some Vitamin D. If you can exercise in nature, even better.
We are nearly there! Just a few more miles. You are in this for the marathon; you don’t need to sprint to the end. Conserve your energy, and cross the finish line strong, knowing you made it through another school year.
RECIPE: Energy Balls
- 1 cup of almond butter
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup of oat flour
Mix together all of the ingredients (above); add some almond meal to get the texture you want, then roll them up. Optional: add chocolate chips for a treat.