These are stressful and confusing times for parents and children alike. While the beginning of a new school year is always a time of adjustment and adaptation, this year is presenting us all with new challenges we’ve never faced before. Whether your children are attending school face-to-face, attending online school, or being homeschooled, this August likely looks a bit different from Augusts past. In today’s blog post, we’re sharing our tips for managing the stress, and for helping your children manage theirs too.
- Don’t keep it all inside.
Most of us have had a moment in this pandemic where we’ve turned to or called up a partner, friend, or family member and said, “The world is just so weird right now” or “I’m completely overwhelmed.” While we all face unique circumstances, it can be a huge relief to chat about it with someone else and remind yourself that you’re not the only one feeling challenged and defeated by stress during these strange times. Doing so also promotes your mental and emotional health as well. If you aren’t sharing your feelings and stress with anyone, do seek out someone you trust; just talking about it can ease the tension you feel. It’s probably best to wait until your children have gone to bed to have these conversations with your spouse or friends. But do make sure you share that opportunity for release and comfort with your children as well in an age-appropriate way. While on one hand we want to shelter our children from how scary everything is, we also must recognize they are experiencing the same feelings and anxiety. You can be their sounding-board, and that will allow them to feel comforted, acknowledged, and understood as well.
- Keep a routine.
Odds are strong that your routine this school year isn’t quite the same as your routine for school years in the past. However, it is extremely important — for you and your children alike — to create a new routine. It might be fun at first if every day of remote learning, hybrid learning, or homeschooling feels like a new adventure, but it will quickly become draining and confusing. Even in-person school will look different. The sooner you establish a daily routine, the sooner your children can start to regain their sense of stability and security. It will also allow you to take care of your needs as well, whether they involve working remotely yourself or managing care of the home or both!
- Reaching out for help.
One of the best ways to take care of your mental health is through therapy with a trained professional. If you already have a therapist you like, make sure you’re scheduling appointments regularly, even if only via video chat or telephone. If you don’t have a therapist, the idea of seeking one out, especially during this time, can also seem overwhelming. Don’t be discouraged! Your primary care doctor can likely refer you to a therapist. A neighborhood parenting facebook page can also be surprisingly fruitful as well. You can also try out a service like Better Help or Talk Space, where you can connect with a therapist through an app. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has resources here:
The National Institute of Mental Health also has resources here:
Remember that children can benefit greatly from therapy as well, especially when they are under stress.
We believe that these three things can make a big difference in keeping you and your children happy and healthy, inside and out, during this interesting time of our collective history. If you are experiencing increased stress due to a family law matter, please remember that the Hargrave Family Law team is here for you. You can reach us at (214) 420-0100. We’re here to help.