header image

It’s almost time! ‘Back to School’ sections are re-appearing in stores’, and you are soon to go on your last summer vacation.

Whether you are a student, eager to start the new semester with in-person classes or a parent whose child just doesn’t want the summer to end, you know that it’s time to get back into the “routine.” But you are met with resistance either from your family or your own psyche (sometimes maybe both). This is to be expected when returning to school following a global pandemic, so here are some tips to combat these unhelpful feelings:

1. Make sure everyone gets enough sleep (including yourself).

Although the sound of your alarm makes you cringe when you hear it outside of waking up in the morning, it is still a reliable way to keep yourself on schedule. A week before the first day of class, set an alarm for when you and your family should brush their teeth and begin to wind-down in their beds. This will ensure that you are not exhausted come the first day of school and that your body’s energy level is cohesive to your brain’s energy level, instead of feeling as though you are following your internal autopilot in your subconscious. It come highly recommended that you do a “dress rehearsal” prior to the first day of school for your young ones who are transitioning back to in-person classes. During this dress rehearsal, have your household wake-up at the expected time everyone will be waking up during the school year & get dressed/prepared for the school day. This will prepare everyone for the changes in their schedules.

2. Designate regular alone time & make it a habit.

Understanding that your schedule is always subject to change can make regularly scheduled “alone time” hard to come by. Going with the flow is an acquired skill that takes some time. Knowing this, your alone time is not required to be the same time every day or every week. This also goes for where you spend your alone time. Being flexible and understanding with yourself is a complicated dexterity, however being gentle with yourself is essential when scheduling your alone time. Not to sound redundant, but alone time is a requirement while the world returns to normal. During this time, disconnect your phone and re-connect to yourself. Use this time to exercise any coping skills that either set your soul on fire (like reading, dancing or writing) or soothe your soul (meditation or yoga).

3. Start talking.

You or your child may start having hesitation about the virus prior to your return to school. It is especially important to acknowledge these fears before the first day of class. Contrary to the prior section when we stressed the importance of alone time and sometimes silence, it is equally as important to give them (and yourself) the message that returning to school is good thing & a step in the right direction. When feeling apprehensive, talk to your peers about your hesitations. Some objective insight can be very healing and reassuring.

4. Be prepared.

Nothing gets rid of the first day jitters better than just simply being prepared. Look over the supply list provided by the teacher and triple check everything is in your or your kids’ bookbags. It doesn’t hurt to have the school days’ schedule printed for you to look over with them if they are switching to different classes through-out their day. Familiarizing yourself with the people on the administration team at your child’s school (or your school) is useful too. Knowing you and your child have this support system, full of outside resources is a valuable tool that certainly does not get used as often as it should. If you have any uncertainties about your child’s transition, address them with their school counselor. Knowing that you have an extra set of eyes will put your heart palpitations at ease.

5. Keep up with the basics!

We all know how difficult it can be to ensure that our basic needs are met when experiencing change. Basically, we get so wrapped up in the chaos of trying to keep everything on track that when we realize we haven’t brushed our teeth yet, it’s already 11:00am! A simple solution is to start making short lists in your phone or on paper (whichever you would prefer) for everyday of the week that you can easily reference. On these lists, jot down the necessities of your daily routine to be checked off once completed. Eating habits tend to be affected the most during times of change. Avoid these inconsistencies by preparing breakfast and your child’s lunch the night before. This allows for a little more wiggle room in the morning, so you are better prepared to tackle your day!

Ultimately, it is up to you how you approach this new school year. However, these tips will absolutely soothe any uncontrollable anxiety about the up-coming transition. Will you avoid acknowledging this inevitable change or will you implement the skills just shared with and greet the new school year with a smile and a wave?

By: Taylor Trotta