As September approaches, parents, caregivers, and students will be getting ready to return to school – this year, for the first time in three years, without many earlier COVID-19 measures in place.
As we prepare for a new “normal” that includes the return of many extracurricular activities, and a lack of masking requirements, some may be experiencing apprehension. Many are hopeful for a year without restrictions or closures, however the lack of certainty created over the pandemic can be anxiety inducing.
What is most important during times of uncertainty is to make sure children feel safe, loved, and know that the adults in their lives will be there to care for and support them through it all.
Practicing Radical Acceptance, a Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) strategy that asks us to accept the difficult things in our lives that we cannot change, can bring us a sense of peace, and allow us to focus on what we can control.
Setting up and following a routine can help calm anxieties, as well as encouraging children to share their fears. Here are some helpful tips on how to set up a successful back-to-school routine.
Practicing self-care and planning some daily joy can go a long way, especially leading up to and during back-to-school. Intentionally set aside time for self-care and things that make you happy or feel relaxed. Whether that’s reading a book outside or taking 5 minutes to simply breathe and reset. Be kind to yourself and remember to find time to do the things you enjoy.
Lastly, open and honest communication with teachers can help a smooth transition. Being brave and asking for what you need, be it a phone call, physical paper resources, or space to work through anxieties separately, can go a long way in easing difficult moments.
If you are a parent or caregiver supporting a child or youth who is struggling, please reach out to Lutherwood’s Front Door if you have concerns or questions.
We would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy return to school this September! Care and honest communication will allow us to all feel safe and supported.
"Having suffered from a serious mental illness most of my life, I feel the need to give back to those that suffer from similar hardship and struggles; especially the kids in our community. I appreciate being given the opportunity to support children's mental health initiatives like Steps for Kids."