Whether you're a student or a parent, going back to school is stressful.
As a parent, you have to make sure your children are ready for school, while if you're a student, you have to prepare for your busy schedule, your work, your exams and all that juggling your extracurricular activities. .
Regardless of your situation, your stress can have harmful effects on your mental and physical health, your quality of life and your academic success if you are a student.
Fortunately, there are effective strategies to manage your back-to-school stress.
In this article, we explore the best ways to manage back-to-school stress, whether you're a student or a parent.
If you are a student
1. Plan ahead
Planning is key to reducing your back-to-school stress.
Take the time to plan your schedule, making sure you set aside enough time for extracurricular activities, hobbies and (very important) rest.
Start by setting realistic goals and put systems in place to help you track your progress.
For example, you can use an agenda, planner or even a notebook to help you manage your time and stay organized.
2. Practice relaxation
Relaxation is a great way to help you reduce your stress. When it's back to school, it's extremely important that you set aside time to relax.
Using techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and tai chi can help calm the mind and body. If these techniques aren't too empty for you, just do something for yourself! Anything that helps you relax in normal times.
Taking 15 to 30 minutes of relaxation a day is crucial. Don't miss it!
A good time to do this is right before you go to bed. It will help prepare your body for restful sleep and calm your mind before bed.
3. Build positive relationships
Your positive relationships with friends, family, and even teachers can help you reduce stress and improve your mental health.
Take the time to develop positive relationships with the people around you.
You can also join parent clubs and/or extracurricular activities to meet new people and expand your social circle. The important thing is to surround yourself!
4. Be active
It's a known fact that exercise can help you reduce stress, improve your mental and physical health, and increase energy and focus.
The important thing is to find a way to move that you enjoy and that won't feel like a chore when you do it.
It can range from walking to dancing, cycling or swimming. Have fun discovering a different way to move your body and when you've found your perfect exercise, make it an integral part of your daily routine.
5. Take care of your diet
A balanced and healthy diet is sure to help you reduce your stress and improve your physical and mental health.
For the back-to-school period, avoid processed foods high in sugar and fat, and instead opt for nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
This food will give you a lot of energy and you will be ready to face your day on the right foot!
For the parents
1. Involve your children
Involving your children in back-to-school planning can help them feel more confident and in control.
Talk with them about their schedules and homework, and help them with the transition from “holiday” mode to “back to school” mode to make back to school go as smoothly as possible.
2. Practice mindfulness and self-care
Practicing mindfulness to take care of yourself is essential to manage your stress during the back-to-school period.
Mindfulness will help you stay focused on the present moment and reduce back-to-school anxiety. What are you afraid of? Back to routine? Your workload? Perhaps you are anxious about being separated from your children?
A good way to face these fears is to visualize your perfect scenario. What does the ideal back to school look like? Visualize it as often as possible! You will see, your back-to-school stress will be reduced.
Taking care of yourself will strengthen your resilience and your ability to cope with stress.
Here are some mindfulness practices to try during back-to-school:
Meditation : Practicing meditation will keep you calm and centered during stressful situations. You can try guided meditation apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer to get started.
Breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises are super effective in reducing anxiety and improving your mood. You can try the 4-7-8 (LINK) breathing technique, where you inhale for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, then exhale for eight counts.
Yoga : Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that can help you relax and reduce stress. You can try online or in-person yoga classes to find a practice that works for you. (Personally, yoga REALLY helps me channel my stress)
Gratitude Diary: take the time to reflect on what you are grateful for as it will help you take your focus away from stress and focus on the positives in your life. Try to write down at least three things you are grateful for each day. (Another one of my favorite relaxation techniques!)
Self-care activities: Take the time to engage in activities that bring you happiness and relaxation, such as taking a nice hot bath, reading a book, or spending time in nature or with your pets.
3. Seek support from others
If you feel stressed during the start of the school year, it can be helpful to seek support from others.
You can talk to a trusted friend or family member, join a support group, or seek professional help from a therapist.
Here are some ways to seek support during the back-to-school period:
Tell your friends and family: Sharing your concerns with loved ones can help you feel less alone and more supported. They might be able to offer practical advice or just listen to you (great, that's all we need).
Join a support group: You can find online or in-person support groups for parents experiencing back-to-school stress.
Seek professional help: If you feel really overwhelmed or unable to cope with your stress, now is the time to seek professional help from a therapist or social worker.
Back-to-school season can be a stressful time for everyone.
However, by taking proactive steps to manage your stress, you can reduce the impact of your stress on your physical and emotional health.
The key is to prioritize self-care practices, sleep well, eat well and above all, move!
Additionally, practicing mindfulness, seeking support, and staying organized can also help you manage your stress during this busy time.
By implementing these strategies, you can start the school year on the right foot and feel better able to face the challenges that arise.