Illustration of hands writing in a notebook with "Back to School" in big letters.Share on Pinterest
Illustration by Maya Chastain

When you’re a kid, summer is a magical in-between time. And even though you don’t have the same perception of time as an adult, the leap that happens from the end of classes to the start of classes feels monumental. Moving up a grade is a big step for kids and parents.

Some of my strongest memories of summer have to do with preparing for a return to school.

There are recollections of stressful moments spent anxiously fixating on what to wear for the first day, arguing with my mom about how none of my clothes are any good — anxiety born from body image issues and insecurity that many young girls and the women they’ve grown into can identify with.

I remember with fondness the back-to-school shopping sessions with my mom at the local Staples. I can still smell the crisp paper and visualize the rows of colorful gel pens.

Leaving behind summer brought about new anxieties about how the school year would pan out, but in those binders, notebooks, and folders, there was a chance to start fresh.

I suspect most parents — mine included — feel the same way when the new school year is on the horizon. They are hopeful and excited, yet nervous about what’s to come — all the while dealing with other adult preoccupations like paying the bills and securing child care for little ones too young to head home to an empty house after school.

This year, as we figure out how to live in a more health-conscious world, parents and kids are tasked with navigating a return to school while keeping themselves and others safe from harm.

And so, in addition to the usual back-to-school worries, parents and kids have to contend with a new normal that feels anything but.

Healthline’s New Rules for Back to School Hub is here to support parents and caregivers as they prepare for September so they can enter the new year feeling their absolute best.

The New Rules are all about revisiting old, tried-and-true tips and advice and putting a self-care spin on them. It’s not just about heading into the school year doing X, Y, and Z to stay healthy. It’s about parent and child starting off on the right foot physically without sacrificing mental well-being.

Whether it’s expert-led advice about preventing illness or personal stories from parents about how to cope when sick days inevitably come knockin’, our New Rules Hub takes a holistic approach to a healthy back-to-school season.

A checklist works wonders for school supplies. But physical and mental health for kids and parents aren’t one-size-fits-all. We’re here to help you get ready for the best school season yet.