5 Tips to Help Students Manage Back to School Stress
Most students have been back in the classroom fulltime for at least a month, but in that time, many of them have seen classmates and teachers become ill or have become ill themselves. The coronavirus disease (COVID) pandemic has delivered another new normal for students to adapt to. It’s no surprise that many young people are having a difficult time in the classroom and at home. As parents, we have worked hard to create stability and safety for our kids, but the past few years are taking a hefty toll on us as well. If your child or family are struggling this back to school season, you’re definitely not alone. It’s okay for everyone to not be okay. In this blog, we’re going to offer a few tips to help young people and families adjust to whatever new normal the school year throws their way, but if you need more support, it may be time to consider family therapy with the Lotus Psychology Group team.
1 – Establish a Sleep Routine
Young people need a lot of sleep, so even if they’re getting older and want to start staying up later, try to make sure they’re in their beds for at least eight hours. Sleep is extremely important to manage stress and upset. Being well rested means that we have a clear head to process difficult thoughts and feelings, so simply helping kids get enough sleep can make a huge difference in their mood. Additionally, adequate sleep is an important aspect of overall health, so your child will feel better when they get enough sleep. The easiest way for all of us to establish and maintain a sleep routine is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
2 – Talk it Out
Young people may not want to talk about how they feel, and they may not even have the language to describe their experiences to you. It can be helpful to talk to your child while you do something else. Many families have nightly dinners where they discuss their days, and this is a good start. However, it can be even more beneficial to choose an activity that involves more movement. This can free up a young person’s mind and make them more likely to talk. Some good options include going for a walk, playing a game, and making dinner together.
3 – Eat Healthy & Stay Hydrated
Getting the right nutrients is important for growing bodies, and it can help young people to have the energy to take on whatever the school day throws at them. A nutritious diet and adequate hydration can also help to keep the immune system strong.
4 – Exercise
We don’t mean your child needs to be hitting the gym every night. If they’re a student athlete, they likely already get plenty of exercise, but for other students, staying active is important. Instead of planting themselves in front of the TV or computer after school, encourage your child to stay active even if that just means going for a walk every night.
5 – Prioritize
For many students, all the classwork, extracurriculars, family commitments, and socializing that come along with back to school season can be overwhelming at the best of times. Young people learn to prioritize from us, so help them understand how to prioritize well and set a good example. Most importantly, encourage them to understand that it’s okay (and good!) to prioritize their own self-care. That doesn’t mean they need to take three hour bubble baths with face masks every night. Instead, that means things we’ve been talking about like sleeping enough, staying hydrated, eating nutrient rich meals, exercising, and generally, taking good care of themselves.
Bonus Tip – Talk to a Therapist if You’re Struggling
It’s completely understandable if your family is having a tough time this back to school season, and you don’t need to figure it all out on your own. If you want to talk to a professional about how to manage all that’s going on, let’s talk. You can get started by calling our practice, emailing us, or simply filling out our online scheduling request form.