Nerves and fatigue play a part in kids getting more stressed. Study: Kids taking extended hiatus in school, back to school anxiety increases

Nerves and fatigue play a part in kids getting more stressed. Study: Kids taking extended hiatus in school, back to school anxiety increases

Nerves and fatigue play a part in kids getting more stressed. Study: Kids taking extended hiatus in school, back to school anxiety increases

Nerves and fatigue play a part in kids getting more stressed. Study: Kids taking extended hiatus in school, back to school anxiety increases

Nothing is as amazing as the fall return to school. That dreaded day has to come – and unfortunately, it can trigger a lot of anxiety. It’s easy to think that kids who used to attend school every day are experiencing a similar feeling, but that’s not always the case. Children who were absent from school for an extended period of time had a 27 percent higher likelihood of anxiety or depression symptoms during the first six months after re-entering school.

Getting back to school means taking on a new schedule with new tasks, many of which can be stressful. Some school-aged children may not be used to making breakfast, being in school early or homework. If a child is experiencing high levels of stress, a parent can make it easier for a child to get through the start of the school year. Here are some tips to help manage kids with stress levels related to the return to school.

Lower your stress level

Kids have lots of reasons to be nervous about the return to school. Constantly having to deal with the demands of homework and not having the chance to have a balance and “real life” makes it difficult to feel “calm” when school begins. A common way to feel confident and have a sense of security is to de-stress. De-stress, however, doesn’t have to be extreme.

Take a brisk walk to get some exercise – or a short class. If your child prefers reading a book, read with them. This will provide a feeling of control while still engaging your child and helping him to foster his motivation.

Teach the importance of taking breaks and gratitude. It’s always nice to take some time to give thanks to yourself, those around you and for being alive. Routine down time every day is also essential. Most children will benefit from at least one or two days of no cell phone use, no online games and no headphones. A simple warm bath with music is also a great way to de-stress.

Set a good example

School is stressful enough without taking on an adult-like schedule and sharing it with your kids. Taking short breaks throughout the day will give your child the opportunity to have some calm and quiet while you relax as well.

Shelter from the sun

Even though you’re indoors for most of the day, keep the windows closed. This will block out light and potentially trigger stress. If your child enjoys morning baths, keep the door open and give them time to run around the house. It can also be fun to pretend that they’re in school. If your child is really over-stimulated, try bringing in a personal trainer and having them help them manage the stress.

Connect with your kids

Children, and particularly teens, have the need to connect with family and friends. Everyone experiences stress, but children may have different levels of anxiety. Working on developing a routine and check-ins with your child daily will help manage their anxiety level. Daily phone calls from an adult in your child’s life can also be comforting, especially when those calls don’t involve anything scary.

Keep structure and structure

What good is having your child’s support network if you aren’t there? It’s always helpful to come up with good rules, boundaries and routines. Make sure your child has a schedule and set of expectations. Make sure they know what they need to do when they are separated from the family. Also, establish expectations and rules of their own regarding when they can and can’t be home. Make sure your child knows that helping them stay active is OK, but not calling home for a latte will not make them feel better.

MindShift® was founded by Allison M. Solomon and is a producer of healthy solutions for the mind, body and spirit. MindShift® was recently named one of Corporate Fitness Magazine’s top 30 workouts of 2017. For more information on MindShift® and Allison Solomon please visit www.mindshiftmedia.com

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