It’s back-to-school season, which means many people working in school food service are dealing with a lot of stress. There are eligibility applications rolling in, new students to deal with, and busy schedules all around. Managing your stress is especially important during this time so that you don’t get overwhelmed and you can perform your best during one of the busiest times of the year.

Get Your Heart Rate Up

One of my favorite ways to reduce stress is by exercising. When you exercise, your brain produces endorphins – the neurotransmitters that make you feel good. Not only does exercise help your physical health, but it also puts you in a better mental state.

The gym isn’t the only place you can boost your endorphins and reduce your stress. It’s important that you enjoy what you’re doing (or you won’t do it very often). If you’re like me and hate running on the treadmill, there are other fun activities to get you moving. Some of my favorite ways to exercise are rock climbing, paddle boarding, and running outside.

If you’re pressed for time, there are plenty of things you can do at home to get your heart rate up. You can practice yoga at home, go for a jog around the neighborhood, or even find at-home workouts on YouTube.

Catch Some Zzz’s

According to the American Psychological Association, American adults are only sleeping an average of 6.7 hours. The recommended amount of sleep is seven to nine hours, and eight hours seems to be the sweet spot for many people.

Stress can sometimes cause a lack of sleep, and a lack of sleep impairs our ability to respond to stress appropriately, thus resulting in more stress. In order to break the cycle, you have to prioritize your sleep. Set a bedtime for yourself, and stick to it during the work week when you have to wake up early.

Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime to do something relaxing and take your mind off all the back-to-school stress. Read a book, take a bubble bath, or meditate. Your body and mind will thank you for taking care of yourself.

De-Stress with the Team

Chances are, your whole team is feeling the pressure of back-to-school. Organizing team activities outside of work can be a great way to bond, boost morale, and eliminate the stress together. Many times, our coworkers are the people we spend the most time around, so it’s nice to do something unrelated to work and get to know each other better.

At PrimeroEdge, we do this twice a year with company-wide events. At our last event, we had a picnic in the park and competed in several team games. We played volleyball, raced in potato sacks, and brought out our inner-child with candy filled piñatas.

Stop the Stress Before it Starts

While much of the back-to-school stress is inevitable, you can stop some of the stress before it starts. Preparation and automation can make a huge difference. Make your job easier with things like online applications, inventory scanning, or free professional standards tracking.

How do you manage your stress during the back-to-school season? Let us know in the comments!

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