After months of being locked in our homes, and 2020 putting the whole world on a total standstill. A pandemic swept the nation and caused a lot of tragedy and it definitely changed the way we live. None of us, really expected anything like this to happen and as we enter Septemeber tomorrow, it’s crazy to think that it’s been going on for this long. But, there seems to be some kind of normality appearing as people are going back to work, more and more people are venturing out and many are returning to school tomorrow.
For some, this may seem like it’s necessary, to be able to get everyone back into the swing of normality and having some kind of routine. But, for some, it may seem far too soon and risk for your children or in general, you don’t feel comfortable going back. It’s totally understandable, why anyone would feel like this, this week will be filled with a lot of uncertainty for you and you’ll most likely be anxious and stressed out and it’s important to know that it’s ok.
Most people will be in exactly the same position, things will be different but there will always be support. Here are a few tips that might help you with the anxiety of going back to school. These are helpful for any parents out there who have children going back and you’re worried and you know they are too or if you’re a student and feel nervous also.
1) Be organised
This is a really important one, one that actually makes a whole world of difference for anyone who is struggling with anxiety. Being organised helps reduce them feelings and also clears your mind and makes you feel a little bit more positive. So, if you’re a parent and your child is returning to primary school, then getting them into that routine of going to bed at a certain time and waking up at a certain time is vital. Talk to your child about what you think there day will be like, talk about what will go ahead when they go into the classroom and that they’ll have to hang their bag and coat up and say hi to their friends and go and sit down.
It helps them to know what will be happening when they go into school, especially if they’re nervous. Another key would be to find out information in regards to school prior to them going back, around the new restrictions to do with Covid-19. What the school are doing and how things will change, just so you have an idea and that you feel ok to send them back. It will also help them to know you feel comfortable with it and not stressed. Try and stick to a routine as much as possible, perhaps read a book then bedtime, have a calming evening to settle them down, this will help relax them. Help them back their bag, write a list and they can read out each one and tick it off, it makes it more fun. Lay out their clothes the night before, so that it isn’t so crazy in the morning. Allow some extra time to get ready on the first day, just so that it’s not chaotic and stressing them or you out even more.
For young adults, having a routine again is important, doesn’t matter what age you’re. It’s important to keep one, pack your things the night before, lay out your clothes, make your lunch etc. It may also help to write down some realistic and achievable goals for the end of the year, what you’re hoping to achieve and reward yourself with something at the end. Never set unrealistic goals, don’t set yourself up for failure. Talk with someone if you’re worried, get some advice and realise you’re not alone in how you feel.
2) Stay positive
Staying positive, something we hear a lot of the time but it’s honestly such a benefit for anyone to keep that positive headspace going constantly. It’s difficult to keep it going all the time, but it can help tremendously with anxiety and stress. If you’re worried about going back to school try and keep positive, think about the fact that you’ll get to see your friends and catch up, that you’ll go back into the lessons you enjoy, that you’ll be able to achieve great things and you’ll be able to get back into a routine which again will benefit you a lot.
If your a parent, staying positive for your children is so important, they look up to you as a role model and if you’re uneasy or they can see you’re stressed, they will be too. It’s best to keep that positive attitude and smile and assure them it’ll be ok. If you keep a positive tone, your child will pick up on that and feel more positive. Maybe, talk to your child about the fact they should keep their hands clean and do what their teachers say, just to give them some tips on how to go about the current situation but in a way that won’t scare them, which will make them feel better. Remind them of all the happy times they had before school shut and assure them that they’ll have many more of them, but things will be slightly different.
3) Self-care is vital
Another thing that a lot of us talk about but one of those things that is necessary, it doesn’t matter who you’re, gender, age, what’s going on life, everyone should invest in self-care. It’s one of them things that should never be missed or looked down upon. It’s an important part of daily life, one that helps you feel more positive and one that gives you that time to truly love yourself and make yourself feel better. So, it’s vital that you delve into self-care and this will also help you with anxiety. A key point would be to eat a nutritious breakfast in the morning, don’t skip it. Breakfast is what motivates you for the rest of the day, it balances your blood sugars out and if you eat small snacks regularly throughout the day, this will help keep your stress and anxiety levels down.
The night before, get your bag packed and clothes ready, then have a relaxing bath or shower, do some skincare, get in your comfy pyjamas, stick on your favourite movie or read a book and just relax. Take your mind of what you’ve constantly been thinking about all day and give your mind a break. By having a daily or even weekly routine, that’s a type of self-care. Focus on what you can control not what you can’t, take it one step at a time, take a few minutes to breathe when you’re at school and you have a break definitely make the most of the outside. The evenings after, do something you enjoy, listen to music, draw, colour, cook something just do something that makes you feel better. This is also great for if you have work to do, after making sure to do some kind of self-care to make you feel a little less stressed. Make sure to have a good sleep schedule and talk to someone if things get tough.
This is exactly the same for a parent with their children, that you yourself have some kind of self-care routine and influence that onto your child. As well as make sure to do things they enjoy outside of school to keep them happy.
4) Remember it’s ok to feel like this and the feelings will pass
May be easier said than done, but it’s true and it’s something that a lot of people are feeling right now, you’re not alone in it. It’s not something to be ashamed about, you have the right to worry about either your child or you yourself going back. It’s important to understand that it’s ok to feel like this and that the times we’re in right now are difficult and stressful and it’s a big step going back and there being a lot of changes. But, once you realise it’s ok to worry and be anxious and that many people feel the same, you’ll feel better.
It’s also good to know that these feelings will pass, they won’t last forever and once you’ve been back a few days, the feelings will begin to reduce. It’s the overall overwhelming feeling of the night before because you simply don’t know what will go ahead. But, all teachers will be going through all the precautions to ensure it’s safe for you to return and ensure you that it’s ok and let you know what they are without stressing you out. Once, you’ve been there once and seen how the new rules work, you’ll feel less anxious the next day, it’s the going there and getting through the first day that we worry about the most, but once that’s completed it gets easier from there.
5) Talk to someone
Whether you’re a parent or a young adult, it’s ok to reach out and speak to people. Whether you’d prefer to speak to a friend or a family member, or if you’d prefer to talk to a professional about how you’re feeling, this may be a teacher or therapist. Either way, if the feelings of anxiousness are overwhelming and affecting your daily life, it’s important to speak to someone so that you can come up with ways to help yourself or someone you know who is struggling.
Don’t ever feel weak, for going to someone with these problems because a lot of people are going through or feeling the same thing. It’s totally understandable and it’s in your best interest to reach out. If it’s to do with the new rules in regards to school, talk to a teacher and explain how you’re feeling or if you feel like things aren’t being taken seriously enough talk to them. It’s important that not only is the school a safe environment but you feel comfortable too. If your a parent, be there for your child and support them and if you yourself are worried about school then speak to someone and tell them what you’re worried about.
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If you’re looking for any online counselling or walk and talk therapy whether you’re a parent and you’re looking for your children. You yourself need it or you’re a student or anyone that is struggling at this time, then please do not hesitate to contact Becky. You can access contact details here. Check out the website for more information.
Call Mind on 0300 123 3393 or visit their website.
Call Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774 or visit their website here.
Call YoungMinds on 0808 802 5544 or visit their website here.