You’ll be busy this fall, but you don’t have to be stressed


The flurry of fall no doubt brings “busyness” with school back in session, activities starting back up, and sports in full swing.  It can at times, appear to be overwhelming.  Check out Anuja’s column in the New York Times supplement, The Ann.  The Ann the informative, critical, and inspiring magazine distributed monthly in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and


You’ll be busy this fall, but don’t have to be stressed


The author, Anuja Rajendra, is the mother of two sons and two four-legged, almost-human sons. She’s a member of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports and founder and CEO of BollyFit. She can be reached at

Moms, let’s carry the synchronized summer stillness into the flurry of fall. Let’s enjoy everything this September.


We associate summer with slowing down, swimming along sand dunes and savoring squashes grown in our gardens.


Whether we slept in backyard tents or trekked to Traverse City, we enjoyed some illuminating moments and lingered lounging this summer.

My family planted a garden, forgot to cage it, and decided to feel good about feeding the neighborhood bunnies a bounty of beans and tomatoes. Our Community Supported Agriculture experience was made better with the fun of sharing scallions with friends – and my stress level plummeted from no longer having to figure out how to use up the huge box.

With fall’s increased after-school activities, resumption of homework, and the assumption that professionally we should achieve as much as possible between September and the December holidays, the weight on mothers’ shoulders appears to increase with the start of the school year.

Here’s what has worked for me as I attempted to bring that carefree consciousness from summer to fall:


  • Read books such as “Lean In” by Facebook COO and mother Sheryl Sandberg, who reminds me that I do not need to always operate at 100 percent but to surrender at 95 percent – the part I devour repeatedly – when that is all a particular situation requires.

  • Recognize the difference between stress and busyness. Even saying “stress” out loud makes my insides tighten. “Busyness” is cool and means I’m connected with the world.

  • Relax with three conscious breaths, especially if I’m running late or feeling overly busy. Whether it’s waking up sleepy kids for school or stepping out of the SUV for an important meeting, awareness as I inhale and exhale connects me with that tingle in my belly – the aliveness within myself. That tingle energizes my soul and smile and helps bring the essence of myself to situations.

  • Remember what I have to do and what I choose to do. Whether it is volunteering in the classroom or cooking a five-course meal from scratch, knowing/remembering what is a choice opens space for it to feel like an intentional mini-vacation.

  • Rejuvenate myself – and everyone around me – with exercise that I enjoy. A good sweat brings out aliveness, joy and clarity within me that ripples beyond myself through my interactions with others.

  • Accept and embrace more. React less. Know this is a season of change and soak in the warmth as if I was up north, enjoy a snazzy scarf as if I was at the Sochi Olympics, and get myself a stylish umbrella as if I was strolling the streets of London.


More than anything, each progressive school year reminds me that my children are borrowed and someday will lead lives that do not need me daily. Sometimes, this reflection alone helps me to remain relaxed.