We all experience occasional stress — and some people more than others. Stress is our body’s way of handling demands that may cause a physical, emotional, or psychological reaction.
However, when stress is not managed or starts to overwhelm your life, it can lead to more serious issues like anxiety and depression.
This is something many students, parents, and teachers are thinking about as we get closer to the start of this school year.
Stress management and coping skills are critical for parents, students, and teachers to thrive during any school year, especially in the upcoming academic year, when COVID-19 is still a concern.
“Students, teachers, and even parents have described having a ‘social battery’ that is more easily depleted, meaning they get overstimulated and tired from socializing with both individuals and in groups, and need to return home to rest and recharge”.According to Dr. Analysis
Strategies for students
Students will face all types of stressors throughout the school year. Being equipped with tools to help manage the effects is critical to success. Here are some coping strategies:
- Practice deep belly breathing
- Try Progressive muscle relaxation
- Partcipate in regular exercise activities
- Recognize and accept all emotions
- Learn to communicate struggles
- Find a few trusted listeners
Strategies for parents
By now, many parents are experts at change and dealing with anything that comes their way. That said, managing a family, work, and school takes its toll, and countless parents and caregivers are already dealing with a high level of stress.
- Take a meditation break
- Practice daily self-care
- Minimize your media consumption
- Surround yourself with supportive people
When to seek help
If handling anxiety and stress on your own isn’t working, it may be time to seek professional help.
Here are common signs of stress:
- feelings of irritation and anger
- lack of motivation
- feeling overwhelmed
- nervousness or anxiousness
- trouble sleeping
- sadness or depression
- trouble concentrating
- worsening of chronic health problems or mental health conditions
- changes in appetite
- increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other substances
- headaches, body pains, and stomach or digestive issues
It’s normal to experience temporary stress. But if you or your child are experiencing extended periods of stress symptoms, it may be a sign that stress is not being properly managed.