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Back-to-School-Time Stress-Busters for Parents

The lazy days of summer are almost gone, kids are getting ready to head back to school and the holidays are just around the corner. Sounds stressful, right?

This time of year can fray the nerves of most parents. But there are some simple things we can do to try and remain sane through it all.

Parenting expert and Time To Play magazine contributor Shannon Eis shared some of her favorite stress-busters with "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill.

It's tough to be a parent at any time of year, but back-to-school really presents its own set of challenges. Why is it so tough every year?

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"It's like all of a sudden there are just fewer hours in your day and more chaos to organize," Eis said. "So it's a little bit about simple tips. We're not going to add hours in the day, but we thought to make it more fun and make a few things easier."

Starting off, minor adjustments really can offer major relief.

According to Eis, 15 minutes is sort of a miracle-worker. Just wake up 15 minutes earlier. Even if it's just to get 15 minutes to yourself, it's really important. She also advises against over-scheduling, not to do finances at bedtime (which adds stress and affects your sleep), and to take walks and cut back on caffeine.

Another tip: Learn to say "no"!

Starting with small steps is important, Eis says.

And beginning with bedtime is key. While you might not be able to get more sleep, you can at least get some better sleep.

"We spend a third of our life in bed, so making it a haven for you, with better sleep quality, a better pillow ... there's also lots of tools that you can use," Eis explained.

Eis also recommends a great deep sleep serum from Abe's Market, which carries all different types of herbal remedies.

It's also OK just to be good enough.

"You don't have to be perfect at everything. Whether signing up for a car pool, getting a dog walker. There are things you can say 'OK' on. And sometimes, just making some shortcuts in the kitchen can help. So it can be packaged goods, pre-packaged snacks for the lunch. Anything that puts a few minutes back in your day and can be guilt-free," she explained.

Eating and exercising are important all year-round.

"Food is a great source of energy, but it's also a great way to have nutrients to help your mind focus. So (have) anything from a vitamin B and dark green leafy vegetables to vitamin C, which is a lot of fruits, as well, to green tea, which is a great caffeine substitute."

Nuts are also a great snack that has protein and vitamins, as well.

Laughing goes as long way to reducing your stress, Eis points out.

She also suggested some great fun family activities that could bring laughter into the home -- whether it's a fun book or game, laughter can really help those health-ehancing endorphins.

There are lots of great natural foods that can help reduce stress, such as grapefruit, lemon and basil. There is also a mental clarity room spray that has the natural organic scents that bring about a soothing sense.

Lists and boards with notices around the house can actually help you de-clutter a little bit. "A key tip is write things down," Eis says. "Don't try to keep it all in your head even if it's on the fridge or note pad."

"Give yourself permission to just let a few things go," Eis concluded.

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