Back to school can be an exciting yet stressful time for educators, parents and students alike. This year, the return to school plan is compounded with COVID-19 and all the concerns and safety measures surrounding the pandemic. Some students are returning to the classroom, some virtually, and for some it is a combination. Regardless, the school day will be different than years past.
Some students may be looking forward to connecting with teachers and friends again in person or virtually. Parents and educators may be ready to get back on a routine. Everyone might be scared and wonder what this year will be like. Others may worry being able to successfully manage everything. On top of the pandemic, many local schools received significant damage during the recent derecho windstorm, impacting school start dates. It can all seem quite overwhelming at times.
Stress is Normal.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines stress as the “brain and body’s response to any demand.” Stress is a normal response and effects everyone differently. There are different kinds of stress such as daily hassles or frustrations, stress resulting from life changes, and chronic stress brought on by ongoing exposure to trauma or other life events.
Some stress is necessary to motivate us to act. Think about the stress you might feel while preparing for a test. It can motivate you to study hard do well on the exam. However, too much stress can interfere with our daily life and performance and can lead to long-term health issues.
There are many things we can do to help manage our own stress and support our children’s emotional needs — in daily life and especially as we head back to school:
It will be ok.
We are all doing the best we can to manage back to school stress and support our children as we all navigate these uncertain times. Stress is a part of life. As we practice good stress management, we will be better prepared to handle the challenges that come our way — no matter what else 2020 decides to throw at us. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Help is available. Reach out to our team at Covenant Family Solutions for support, resources, or simply a listening ear.