Returning To School During the Pandemic
This is a school year like no other we have ever known. Many of us are sending our children back to school virtually while others are going back into the classroom. Either version of the return to school this year is creating lots of stress and anxiety.
Managing Back to School Stress During the Pandemic
- Develop a plan…and stick to it! Get a large grease board and create a plan and establish rituals in advance: bedtime/curfews, homework hour (no distractions), dinnertime (everyone eats together whenever possible). Kids need (and want) structure – a plan reduces confusion and stress by keeping everyone on the same page.
- Save, Save, Save. Hit sales to cut down on expenses – both online and in-store. Stores usually prepare for sales on Thursday evenings, so get there early on Fridays for the best savings. And, if your state offers tax-free shopping days, take advantage of them!
- Morning Chaos. Stop the morning madness. Start the new day out organized and ready to go. Pre-pack lunches or have lunch planned, lay out clothes, get backpacks ready, and shower in the evenings to cut down on morning stress.
- Activity time each night. Each night go for a family walk for 20 minutes, play badminton, play catch or shoot hoops. Healthy, active parents create healthy, active children. Playing together and having fun will create memories that last a lifetime.
- Encourage quiet-reflective time for your family. This practice plants the seeds of peace, wisdom, and reflection in your children. Have them spend 10 minutes of quiet time each evening. This is also their time to read, explore individual creativity, prayer, and meditation.
- Parents practice Self Care. Practicing self-care teaches your children the vital importance of caring for their own minds, bodies, and souls. Make a date with yourself; get a massager to massage yourself at home, Zoom a friend, go to a nature preserve. Do everything you can to get nourished!
- Laughing Matters: Laughter is an immediate stress reducer and teaches children to not take themselves and life too seriously. See comedy movies regularly.
“Stress is a natural element of life. Educate your children about the symptoms of stress and that stress can lead to sickness, depression, or anger,” states Dr. Hall. “Parents can ease the tensions of stress by altering the family lifestyle and creating a peaceful home environment.”