Back to school anxiety used to be worrying about what classroom your kid is assigned to and how well they will handle their new school work, scrambling to get all their school supplies, and finding after school care. It still includes all those elements. Only now its during a pandemic, with a ton of new worries to add to your checklist.
Obviously with a global pandemic comes new worries for parents, particularly with start of a new school year. How can we manage this accompanying anxiety?
MAKE A PLAN
Depending on where you live, there may be different options for school and after school care. Alberta, for example, has a school re-entry plan as well as several learn from home options. There might not be any option available to you that makes feel fully comfortable, but you still need to make those decisions. Once you decide on what path best suites your family, then it becomes easier to address the discomfort and uncertainty you may feel.
CONTROL YOUR CONTROLLABLES
Hard as it is, you need to accept uncertainty. There are a lot of factors out of your control, especially in the chaos of a pandemic. Can you prevent the possibility of your child coming into contact with the virus? No. Can you encourage them to wear a mask and wash their hands? Yes. Make a realistic plan to keep your family safe.
HAVE A LITTLE COMPASSION
Do you frequently ask yourself questions like: “Did I make a good choice for my family?” or “Am I a bad parent?”
Instead of blaming yourself for a situation outside of your control, have some self-compassion. Monitoring your self-talk is vital to self-compassion. Practice making positive self-talk statements to yourself such as: “This is the best decision I could make with the information I have.”
For parents, all risk taking feels too risky. At certain points, we all have to face uncertainty and loss of control: the pandemic just exacerbates this. Learning to cope with anxiety and uncertainty in these times is crucial to maintaining good mental health.
Original Source – nytimes