7 Tips to Help with Back to School Anxiety

Here are seven ways you can help:

  1. Ask questions/Be supportive – Validate concerns your child may have by asking open-ended questions. To start the conversation, parents might state, “I sense you’re feeling worried, and that’s an okay feeling to have. What is it that you’re most worried about right now?” Pay attention to your child’s feelings and listen to their concerns.
  2. Help your child feel prepared – Explain to your child what you know about what the school year or classroom will look like to help them mentally prepare. If possible, visit the school with your child ahead of the first day of classes or allow your child to meet their teacher.
  3. Set an example – Stay calm when your child becomes anxious about a situation. Children watch parents to learn how to cope with adversity, communicate with difficult people, problem-solve and manage interpersonal conflict. Show children how to behave and how to feel about themselves, even in the midst of anxiety. Rather than making a general statement like “The world is a scary place,” parents might say, “I sometimes get worried, too. When I feel this way, I [insert healthy coping strategy here, e.g., take deep breaths, think about how much I love you and our family].”
  4. Establish routines – In a world where so many things are unpredictable and anxiety-provoking, being consistent with bedtime, mealtime, playtime, screen time and expressions of love can create a sense of stability and predictability. Ensure your child is getting enough sleep, being physically active and eating healthy food. These habits can support a healthy body and a healthy mind.
  5. Coach your child through relaxation exercises – Have your child try deep breathing when they feel anxious — teach them to take a deep breath, count to eight and release. You can also teach them to picture a peaceful place where they felt calm, such as a favorite family vacation spot or a cozy corner of their room. Try a kids’ yoga video to help them slow down and relax.
  6. Show encouragement and celebrate the wins – Consider sending positive or encouraging notes in your child’s lunch or backpack. Small actions can show you are there for your child. After the first week of school (or after any special achievement during the school year), plan a fun celebration, such as a favorite dinner, movie night or special activity together.
  7. Seek mental health support if needed – Although children are resilient, it’s important to pay attention to signs of anxiety. If your child is prone to anxiety and continues to have difficulty coping, do not hesitate to seek professional help.
Easy ground exercise to practice and use with your child.

Exploring Journaling

What are some benefits of journaling?

Keeping a journal can be a beneficial self-care practice. In fact, journaling can help you in the following ways.

  • Achieve goals
  • Keep track of progress & growth
  • Build confidence
  • Improve writing and communication skills
  • Find inspiration
  • Strengthen your memory
  • Reduce stress & anxiety
  • Gain clarity of a situation
  • Help move energy that may be stuck (my personal favourite)

In exploring within myself how I can incorporate journaling into my life, I began thinking about what kind of journaling I would like to do,? How much time can I fit into my day to do this? Do I want a book? Do I want to jot some things down onto paper and store it in a file or binder? If I start with small steps now, will I be able to stick with it? What kind of journal do I want?

So what I have come up with is two options for myself, and two different types of journaling that I am going to incorporate. The first one is what I call 5 Minute Journaling: this is a practice where I set aside 5 mins of my day (can be each day, or every couple of days…whatever works best for you) and just write down sentences or in point form some things that have stuck out for me that day. The other option is what I call Brain Dump: it is where I will literally write down whatever is on my mind and get it onto paper to help shift energy that needs shifting. It is also a great way to help “brain dump” some stressors that I may be experiencing and provide some release of the tension it may be causing.

So I wanted to share with you two templates for both the 5 Minute Journaling and Brain Dump in case you’re wanting to explore journaling, or are trying to incorporate it into your life. I’m curious to know if you try either of these journaling methods, what your thoughts are? Were the templates helpful? Missing anything? Easy to use? Comment below if you’re comfortable in sharing your experience or if you have any questions. As always, you can send me a direct message too.

I look forward to hearing your journaling experiences and connecting with you. Also if you have any tips that you’d like to share, this is a safe space to do so and very much welcomed to do so. – Heather

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.