Returning to the classroom after more than a year of virtual or hybrid schooling may be both exciting and stressful for everyone in the household. And for those still not able to attend school in person, the start of the school year may be filled with mixed emotions.
Change is challenging for everyone, and it is essential to remember that not every person reacts to change in the same way. Children recognize that this coming school year will look different than past years, whether they meet in person, online, or use a hybrid approach.
The first step to helping your children transition is for you to keep a healthy, positive mindset. Students of all ages may find their emotions vary between excitement and anxiety. As schools determine their approaches, students may need varying behavioral health support based on their age and the class structure. It’s important to let your kids know that it’s OK not to feel OK, and you will help them get help as needed.
Please consider these health tips to help manage mental health and ease the transition to the school year:
Be present and supportive.
Recognize your children’s concerns or anxiety and talk about their fears. Be patient as they work through the loss of the way things were.
Maintain an optimistic attitude about learning new ways to learn. Encourage children to see this as a fun and exciting adventure.
Learn how to relax and manage stress.
Explore at-home relaxation, mindfulness, or stretching methods that can calm the mind, body, and soul. Free classes and mental health apps are available online. Many of these skills are convenient and can be used anytime, anywhere.
Have a regular daily routine.
Begin to wake up and go to bed as close as you can each day. Maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and focus on increasing physical activity during the day. A healthy body helps maintain a healthy mood and mindset.
Get plugged in.
Spend time with those who care and support you. Stay connected with friends and family or schedule a play date for your children with family you feel comfortable being around.
Finally, remember to disengage from the news of any kind that negatively affects your mind, body, and being. Spending less than 30 minutes a day is enough to be informed but not overwhelmed.
Stay engaged, and always remember that family is not just an important thing, but it is everything!!
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