Heading back to school can be very exciting but also a source of stress and anxiety for many students. For students, there is a new teacher, classroom, friends and the challenges of the school year while parents may find themselves juggling a packed schedule. Sending kids off to school can be very stressful as well with worries over the issues facing students today such as bullying and social media.
Here are some tips to help you ease into the school year!
1.Prepare for the year ahead
Get ahead of stress by preparing for the school year ahead of time! Purchase school supplies, fill out forms, and shop for clothing and shoes well before the start of school if possible. Designate a space in your house for incoming paperwork from school, a place to keep backpacks and homework, and even a lunch packing station for less stressful mornings. When everyone else is frantically searching for the right size binder at the store, you and your family can be taking one last summer picnic or having a lazy afternoon at home.
Decide on your wake-up routine, figure out how the kids will be getting to school, and input important dates from the school calendar onto yours. Start practicing your new morning routine with your kids before school starts if possible to help them be ready for the new year! A printed chart with pictures can help young children understand what they need to get done in the morning. Knowing what to do and where to be at what time can alleviate stress for everyone.
3.Schedule Stress Relief
Taxiing children to school and activities, keeping on top of deadlines and paperwork and helping frustrated children with their homework can quickly take a toll. Make sure to schedule regular stress relief for you and your children. Play outside with your kids, take a family walk, chill out and watch a funny movie together, or pick a fun new book to read aloud at the library or bookstore. For yourself, have a night out with friends, a breakfast date with your spouse when the kids are at school, and be sure to make time for exercise.
Massage therapy can also be extremely helpful for alleviating stress and tension. A build-up of stress causes cortisol levels to rise in the blood, over-taxing your body and leaving you vulnerable to illnesses such as cold and flu. Regular massage can help you to manage and stay on top of stress, as well as improving the quality of sleep and raising immune system function.
4. Help Your Children Identify How They Are Feeling
Are you children worried about school or excited? Are they sad that their best friend is in a different class or stressed about meeting new people? Children don’t always have the words of the emotional intelligence to talk about and describe their feelings so it is important for parents to take time to discuss these feelings with your children. Even young children can experience stress and anxiety and parents can help them identify these feelings.
5. Role Play
If your child has identified areas they are worried about, help them with their situation by role-playing. If they are having trouble asking a teacher for help or navigating a situation with a friend, parents can help them handle the situation by role playing it at home. This will help give your kids the skills to handle these issues at school when a problem arises.