As we transition from an action-packed summer full of immense changes and businesses re-opening, to bringing families together, we head back to school and place focus on our children's educational needs. Many are still trying to adjust to the rapid changes that continue to happen in our daily lives. Parents are still trying to recover from the 2020 pandemic that placed many of their kids at home to seek education and many parents were shifted from parents to full-time educators.
If you are a parent who is feeling overwhelmed with the constant changes and demands that can cause you to want to go in hiding, I have some simple Solution-focused strategies that can help alleviate some of the stressors that can come with back-to-school stress of packing lunches, fulfilling those back-to-school checklists and school shopping (the horror).
Take a DEEP breath & Set a Schedule: It's going to be OK. No matter how hard you try to shield your kids from stress, they notice EVERYTHING. A great rule of thumb when handling stress is to stay in touch with your reality. Setting a schedule that allows you enough time to handle all the tasks that come with back-to-school demands and knowing when things can wait, can help with stress and save you tremendous time. Setting a schedule ahead can help you stay organized, alleviate stress, and helps you take a moment to trust in the process.
Celebrate the WINS: It can be too easy when taking care of others, your wins become an afterthought. However, how liberating is it when you have completed that school checklist? When you as the parent can focus on the positives of these experiences, you shift the momentum of how you deal with the stressor that doesn't have to necessarily come with getting prepared for back-to-school. For example, if you have completed clothes shopping for the kiddos, Set a goal for yourself to treat yourself to something nice. Of course, apply this to how you choose to celebrate, but the idea is to make sure you congratulate yourself for accomplishing this milestone.
Have the POSITIVE Conversation: Talking out your stress is one of the number #1 methods to handling stress management. However, the type of conversation is just as important. It is recommended to avoid conversations that feed your anxiety relating to back-to-school stress. It's important to speak with other parents to reference helpful strategies that other parents have used to add to your toolbox. Also, include the children (age-appropriate) about how as a team, you both can work through some of the challenges and reach the goal. This is a good teaching moment for both the parent(s) and child or children as it can build family bonds as well as showing cohesion and compassion when working together through chaotic times.