Welcome back. You belong here.
Here we go again, first week of school. Pictures are everywhere, children look so beautiful, all dressed up, cute haircuts, huge backpacks, ready for a brand new year, so much fun!
And it’s also horrifying.
Once that initial excitement and first day tears wear out, you have the rest of your life to think about, bills, work, traffic, expectations, loneliness, fear, anxiety, depression. So what can you do?
Here are Five Ways to Manage Your Feelings of Anxiety During the First Week of School:
#1 It’s Okay to Feel Relieved. Stop feeling guilty over seeing them go or having some time for yourself. You’ve been with them all summer long, it’s okay to feel glad they’re back in school, that’s why you work hard all year.
#2 It’s Okay to Feel Sad. It’s normal to feel sad or depressed now that they’re gone, it’s tough seeing them grow up, leaving home with each passing day. Enjoy every moment, feel the love and take a ton of pictures, this is the time to be THAT parent!
#3 You’re Not a Super-Hero. Even though you may want to do everything perfectly the first week, make their lunches, be on time, pray for them, make every PTA meeting, remember you have a full life yourself and you won’t be perfect.
Give yourself grace when you miss something or forget to buy their PE uniforms and tell yourself “They’re fine, I’m doing great”, and stop beating yourself up over all the things you didn’t do this summer, instead think of all the things you DID do and be grateful.
#4 Trust Others. Many times parents struggle to trust the system, we get anxious about those lower kids, that new teacher I don’t like, those parents that don’t get involved, stop the negative judgment, ask questions and think the best of people, it’ll bring you peace and build bridges towards success. And lastly,
#5 Give, Give, Give. Most of our stress this first week is because we’re in our heads too much, thinking the worst, analyzing, judging others. Get out there and give of yourself, be a giver not a taker, a builder, not a breaker. Talk to parents, say hello to the new teacher, hang out after school and introduce yourself to others, sign-up for a Fall event and volunteer, this will help you build new relationships and strengthen old ones.
BONUS: #6 Talk to Your Children Each Day. At dinner time, at bed time, in the car, on the weekends be sure to talk to your children about their first week and avoid questions such as “How was your week”, they will freeze up. Instead, tell them how you feel, what you saw, what you think, for example – It was so good seeing some of your friends today, they seemed to be glad to be back in school. What did you notice?
I hope these tips help you during this season of high anxiety, they may even help someone you meet at your first PTA meeting.
Have a great rest of the day.
Your #GOZO! friend,
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