If you’re one of the parents who loves back-to-school time, you’re probably packing the kids off to school and enjoying a quiet cup of coffee. However, at Vermont Talk Therapy we’re aware that many kids and parents are having the opposite reaction this time of year. School can be really stressful for students and anxiety about how school will go this year can be stressful for parents as well. Today our Upper Valley therapists are sharing some tips to ease back into school with a little less anxiety if possible.
Some people find that planning ahead can make a big difference. Avoiding prep for the school year can lead to a rush of activity at the last minute, which many people find stressful. Make a list of everything you need to do and create a schedule to keep track of the tasks. Having a plan may help you feel in control and reduce the stress of managing deadlines for registration, shopping and events.
Setting realistic goals can be an important part of managing back-to-school stress. If your child’s stress is around academics, making sure they have a good balance of classes can be an example of setting goals. Maybe they need downtime between their most demanding classes. See if you can arrange the schedule to accommodate that.
It can be easy to become caught up in the new schedule and burn out in a week or two. If you can, build regular breaks into the schedule to relax and recharge. Some kids really need some downtime between school and home as they transition. If possible, give a 30 minute buffer between when they walk in the door and when they are asked to take on the next task.
It’s also important for parents to practice self-care. If you’re feeling healthy and well, you’re in a better position to care for your kids. Take care of your physical and mental health by eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. If talk therapy in the Upper Valley is part of your self-care routine, you can work with your therapist to prepare and weather this time of year. They may be able to help you find solutions to stressors you’ve noticed in past years.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that back-to-school hasn’t always gone smoothly. By planning ahead, setting realistic goals, taking breaks and practicing self-care, you can manage your stress and the stress levels of your kids this time of year. If talk therapy might be a good option this time of year, get in touch. We’re ready to hear what’s going on in your life this fall.