Back to School, Back to Self-Care, Especially during COVID-19
Summer is almost over and many school systems are getting back to a school year unlike anything we can remember. Most are opting for a mixed live and online, or all online schedule. Some parents are homeschooling regardless. So, with teachers teaching in all new conditions, and parents picking up more of the burdens of teaching and childcare, how can parents, teachers, and students prepare for the school year and take care of themselves?
It’s important to think of the start of the new school year as a good thing, whether you’re the child or a parent or a teacher. If you have kids entering school, encourage them by talking about new beginnings, new experiences, and new ways of learning. Talk to them about the new ways they’ve found to connect with friends and how they plan to continue through the school year.
Tell the Story
Remind your kids that they are living through unprecedented times and to soak it all up so that they can tell the stories to their children. You would be surprised how much easier it makes things if you are saving up memories to tell a story about it later.
Moms, plan ahead for me-time if the thought of having your kids home most of the year makes you feel even more frazzled! Book the spa day you’ve been planning; get the massage or facial treatment you’ve been putting off. You might not have more time now than you did over the summer, but it’s all the more reason to make time in your schedule to take care of you! If not now, when?
Teachers probably need to fill up on self-care before the lessons begin and throughout the school year. Making sure you get enough sleep and take care of your wellbeing will set you up for a more positive school year.
Summer isn’t over just because classes have started! Make the most of what’s left of the good weather and get out in the sunshine (with plenty of sunscreen of course; the sun is still strong in August and September). If you can, walk with the kids to school if/when they have live class, ditch the car, avoid the bus, and get some exercise. Get out and about on the weekends so that the summer vibes are carried on as long as possible and combine the fresh air with fitness too.
Walking to school works just as well for teachers.
If you’re cooped up all day indoors, getting that burst of energy first thing will set you up for the day and stop you from feeling depleted of energy by lunchtime.
After summer is gone, keep on going through the Fall! It is a gorgeous time of year to be outside and the health benefits are many. Just make sure to wrap up good if it’s chilly and moisturize if it’s windy.
Take Care of your Mental Health
Students going back for important years at school can start to feel the stress build, as can parents and teachers. Try to encourage teens out of their bedrooms and get them off social media to get a break from bad news, improve energy levels, and reduce stress, especially when they have tests coming up.
Tempt your teens outside with a walk to go shopping or for ice- cream. Book a relaxing massage for you both to de-stress. Try a spa day at home if you’re exhausted or share a pamper day at your favorite salon with your teen.
Teachers really need to look after their own mental health too – a stressed out teacher is no use to anyone. Now may be the time to introduce yoga or meditation sessions in school. Even simple mindfulness techniques can help to calm parents, teachers and kids dealing with difficult times at school.
Remember it’s a new beginning. You might not be able to control everything that happens, but you can always control how you respond! Make the most of this academic year. Make memories now so that you can tell great stories later.