As the school year approaches, many parents are beginning to struggle with the stress and anxiety of sending their kids to school. While no one knows how the next year will play out, there are things that you can do to help minimize your stress and anxiety about the coming year. Listed below are 10 steps that you can take to manage the stress and anxiety of the start of the school year in the age of COVID-19.
- Acknowledge the Uncertainties – There are many unknowns about the Coronavirus. Information about COVID-19 is incomplete and constantly evolving. The decisions that school leaders make today may change tomorrow as new information arises. The more that you can acknowledge and accept the uncertainties the less frustrated you will be.
- Create a Plan – Create a plan of how you will handle your kid’s return to school based on the current school guidance. Talk with your children about the plan so that you can manage their expectations.
- Create Routines – Routines bring structure and predictability to the family. The more predictable our lives are the, safer and more secure we tend to feel. This can be particularly important during the age of COVID-19.
- Be Flexible – Circumstances may change. Be flexible in how you approach the day-to-day demands of your child returning to school.
- Be Adaptable – Don’t become rigid or expect everything to stay the same. These are unpredictable times. Be willing to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Create Contingency Plans – It is easier to adapt when you have contingency plans in place. Create a plan for the different scenarios that might arise as your child returns to school.
- Take Charge of Those Things Within Your Control – Many aspects of life in the age of COVID-19 are out of our control. However, we do have control over our own thoughts and actions. Be willing to do those things that enhance your well-being and the well-being of your family. Quit trying to control those things that you have no power over.
- Use Humor – Laughter and humor are often an antidote to stress and fear. The more light-hearted you are, the more your kids will relax and the less stress everyone will feel.
- Be in the Moment – The only way to laugh is to be in the moment. Remember, all that we have are the moments of today. Worrying about the future tends to rob us of these moments.
- One Day at a Time – In this age of uncertainty, it is important to learn to live one day at a time. None of us can predict tomorrow, we can only work to maximize the meaning of today. Let go of the worries of tomorrow and focus on engaging with those people and things that matter to you most.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.