The air is getting cooler in the mornings these days, which means Back to School is here again. Parents and children alike have mixed feelings. Excitement, dread, more running around, changing routines and schedules to accommodate everyone, new situations and new people, stressful peer pressure, and reuniting with old friends.
Fall comes with multiple stressful events for back to school. Pressure and stress for the children and parents. Some children dread the classroom, bullying, new faces and crowded classrooms, while parents dread the long line-ups to pick up and drop off children, including rushing around in the mornings to get everyone out of the house on time.
Balancing everything in general can be very stressful. All of these changes can be a preparation for the children into adulthood. Parents must teach their children how to manage their stress; in the classroom and with their peers.
Stress can have positive as well as negative influences. The younger the child, the greater the impact of new events, and the more powerful and potentially negative stress becomes. Some stress is a normal part of a child’s everyday life and can have positive influences. However, excessive stress can have both immediate and far-reaching effects on children’s adaptability to new situations, even events that are seemingly unrelated to the specific stressful even. Resource: A Health.com
Parents have their own stressors. Weather you are a single parent, step-parent or married with a partner, everyone needs to know how to evaluate their stress levels and learn how to manage. You may be driving in the car and realize you are extremely tense, and not know the source of your stress.
Learning to relax the anxious mind will eliminate some of the stress. Talking things out that bother you will assist in finding out what is behind anxious thoughts, and in turn how to turn our stressful mind into a state of relaxation.
Benefits of Stress Reduction and Relaxation:
- Slowing your heart rate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing your breathing rate
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- Improving concentration
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Boosting confidence to handle problems
Autogenic relaxation-you repeat words in your mind to help relax muscle tension
Progressive muscle relaxation-slowly tensing and relaxing the muscle
Visualization-go to your happy place - this could be a Caribbean island, boat in the middle of a calm lake, pampered at a spa, reading in a peaceful garden. You create your own happy place.
Other common relaxation techniques include:
- Tai Chi
- Listening to music
Make back to school a positive for your children, and they will grow to love learning new things, how to socialize and get along with others.