Tips to Manage Anxiety About Returning to School During the Coronavirus Pandemic

These are stressful times.  As many of us prepare to send our kids back to school we are forced to deal with the uncertainties around the coronavirus.  The process of starting school again is likely to cause a lot of stress and anxiety for both you and your child.  To help you manage your stress and anxiety, we have put together a few tips to help you cope.

Stay Informed

As our knowledge of the coronavirus evolves, it is helpful to stay informed about the latest research regarding the virus.  It is also helpful to stay updated about the latest recommendations from the CDC.  Don’t be discouraged if the information changes.  Expect guidelines to evolve as our understanding of the virus evolves. 

Communicate Openly and Often

Don’t expect your children to keep up with the latest information about the coronavirus.  Communicate with them around those issues that are most relevant to them.  Express your concerns and expectations and be willing to listen to their concerns and needs.  Remember that communication should be ongoing, especially given the unusual nature of school opening back up in the age of COVID-19.   

Be Flexible

Re-opening schools during the middle of the pandemic will be challenging.  There will be many bumps in the road and the rules and expectations from the school will likely evolve as the situation changes.  Be flexible and be willing to adapt to the changing circumstances.

Manage Expectations

It is important to manage your expectations and the expectations of your children.  The better you are at adjusting your expectations to match the current circumstances the less stress and anxiety you will feel.

Keep It Simple

There will be a lot of complexity as school begins.  You can’t control the virus or how it affects what happens at school.  However, you do have control over many aspects of your home.  Work to simply things.  It will minimize your stress and allow you to build in more flexibility. 

Be Positive

Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of negativity.  The more you focus on how “awful” things are, the more negative your children’s thoughts will become.  Instead, focus on those things that are going well.  The more positive and hopeful you are, the more reassured your kids will be. 

Develop and Nurture a Support Network

Reach out to others and work to develop a network of support.  It is easier to handle the stressors of the pandemic when you don’t feel like you are facing it alone. 

Take Care of Yourself

Take time for yourself to relax and do things you enjoy.  Read, talk to friends, or work in the garden.  Eat properly with a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Try to avoid junk food and emotional eating.  It only makes you feel worse.  In addition, make exercise a part of your weekly routine.  You will feel better if you do.

New Dimensions Can Help!

New Dimensions provides Intensive Outpatient Treatment to Adolescents and Adults with mental health and substance abuse issues.  Our online treatment programs are available to anyone who resides in the state of Texas.  We treat depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, alcoholism, drug abuse, panic attacks, and other mental health issues.  To learn more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796. 

28 April, 2020

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