How to Manage School Year Stress
By: Jenna Froug, School-Based Mental Health Therapist at Brentwood Elementary
It’s officially the second week of the new school year. While there is a lot of excitement that comes with the start of anything new, a fresh start can also prompt school year stress. Healthy habits, positive mindsets, and routine daily practices can help keep family communication active and stress levels down.
Here are five ways you can reduce school year stress:
Talking it out – Sometimes simple communication questions such as “What was today like for you?” or “How did that make you feel?” can help you and your child manage the new year together.
Walking it out – Family walks before or after school can help keep stress levels down for the mind and body. Walking together is also a great opportunity to communicate with each other about expectations of what the day will bring or reflections of how the day went.
Staying Organized – New schedules and new appointments can be stressful and hard to manage. Whether it’s inputting schedules into an online calendar, creating a chart, or using post-it notes, keeping track of appointments instead of trying to remember everything can help you stay on schedule and avoid missing appointments.
Getting Some Rest – Sleep is an important time for our bodies and minds to rest and reset for the next day. According to the National Sleep Foundation and the CDC, school age children need 9 to 11 hours of sleep a night, and adults need 7-8 hours. Setting a standard bed time for yourself and your children can help you catch those Z’s.
Breathing with Intention – Breathing is an involuntary action our bodies are programed to do, but when breathing is done with intention it makes a difference. Next time you or your child is upset take some time to breathe. Try breathing in for five seconds, holding for five, and exhaling for five seconds. Check in with your body and see how you feel afterwards.
Once you settle into the school-year groove, you can begin to enjoy the ride. Just remember to keep communication flowing throughout the year to maximize success and minimize school year stress!