Back to school brings with it excitement, new opportunities, challenges, and . . . . stress.
Here are some ideas on how to minimize the anxiety that naturally comes with the beginning of a new school year.
Understand that most stress and anxiety occur when there is “fear of the unknown”
Many times, when people don’t know what to expect, they tend to fear what is coming. That turns on stress. This is especially significant in kids, who don’t have a lot of life experience to pull from to boost their confidence in new situations.
2. Let your kids express their feelings
You don’t necessarily need to agree with what they are feeling. You may even think they are being a bit dramatic, but they don’t need to know that.
What they need to know is that you have their back. So just listen. If they feel understood, they will feel better.
3. Give them some downtime
Families today tend to be over-scheduled and that can create over-stimulated, tired, stressed-out kids. Give your kids constructive tools to reduce their stress.
Tools for Success
Our 11-year-old son loves the Power Nap. Even though he doesn’t understand the physiology of anxiety, he knows when he is stressed and afraid. The Power Nap interrupts that physiology, relaxes him, and helps him feel back in balance where he is better able to handle what’s going on in his life.
He just feels better.
We want your kids to feel better and have a great start to the school year, so here is a gift for you — a free Power Nap guided relaxation audio download.
Try it with your kids, and you will feel better too!
Dr. Olpin in the Media
Learn more about coping with back to school stress by watching Dr. Olpin’s interview on Good Things Utah,
Relaxing breathing lowers anxiety, relieves tension and reduces pain
Slow, relaxed breathing reverses the stress response and may help you relax before a big test, talk or meeting
Focused breathing keeps your mind in the present, rather than worrying about the future
Have you ever been disappointed with a test score because you knew you could have done better but were just so nervous you didn’t do your best?
How about on a job interview, or when giving an important presentation?
When we are anxious or nervous our breathing changes from deep diaphragmatic breaths to shallow chest breathing. This kind of breathing restricts oxygen flow to the cells of the body and may cause drowsiness, irritability and even headaches. (more…)