It’s August, and that means it’s back-to-school season. Each year, parents and children alike have to ready themselves for the shift from relaxation to routine, and the change can be quite jarring. Stress tends to creep up during back-to-school season, and the impact can influence everyone in the household.
What kind of stress can back-to-school season cause?
According to psychologist Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., there are a number of reasons why back-to-school season increases parents and their children’s stress levels.
For example, while trying to balance work and home, parents could easily overlook their child’s back-to-school anxiety. A new school year means parents have to purchase supplies, books, and clothes—and this could put a lot of stress on the household, especially if finances are tight.
Parents’ stress levels could also prevent them from focusing on their child’s anxiety, leaving their son or daughter to handle their feelings alone. If left unmanaged, the stress within the household can have a detrimental effect on the parents and children’s health.
What effect can stress have on our health?
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. We all experience some degree of anxiety. However, when stress and anxiety are left unmanaged or become chronic conditions, health problems can crop up.
Long-term stress can suppress a person’s immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems—and eventually, these consequences can affect how the body functions. Some people might notice headaches or migraines, while others experience stomach pains and sleeplessness. Chronic stress can also make a person more vulnerable to viral infections such as the flu.
While chronic stress has a number of dangers, it’s important to note: this condition is the most difficult to spot. The symptoms aren’t always obvious or easily linked to stress, which makes it easy for individuals to disregard their headache or upset stomach.
But if parents and their children don’t pay attention to their anxiety and stress levels during back-to-school season, it could lead to more serious problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression.
Tips that can reduce stress naturally
The weeks leading up to school can seem daunting. But luckily, there are a few natural strategies that can minimize stress.
The most important tip centers around food. Get more fruit into everyone’s diet to raise people’s joy levels. Bananas are a great fruit to incorporate because of their high magnesium levels. Vitamin A and C are also crucial because they rejuvenate the skin to help it look healthy. But more importantly, all of these nutrients also strengthen the immune system to prevent back-to-school colds.
Certain essential oils are also great additions to any self-care regimen. After a hard day of school shopping, parents should take baths with lavender and chamomile to relax and de-stress. Children can also enjoy these relaxing baths after a fun but exhausting day of shopping.
And if parents want to continue to create an environment with relaxing and stress-relieving scents, they should create a scented sachet pillow for their kids to lie on while they sleep. If that’s too time-consuming, parents can simply purchase a diffuser for their car to provide a calming aura on the ride to shopping stores.
A stress-relieving routine for the first week of school
Creating a stress-free environment before school is great. But creating an annual tradition that manages stress-levels during the first few weeks of school is even better.
There are five fun, stress-relieving tips that parents and their kids can use to ensure that every day before or after school is a good one. And not only will these simple activities lower everyone’s stress levels, but they will also make kids excited to start a new school year.
Day 1: Take a bath. Mix two cups of Epsom salts and a few drops of an essential oil. Mix the two nutrients thoroughly. Then, pour the mixture into the bath. Get in and soak. Add whatever elements to increase the relaxation (i.e., music, candles, a good book).
Day 2: Make a scented doll for kids to snuggle with. Take a handkerchief and stuff it with one of two things: cotton that’s been soaked in an essential oil or dried flower petals. Once the handkerchief is stuffed, pinch it and tie a piece of yarn around it to make a head. Then, gather up two of the sides to make little arms. The rest of the material can hang loosely.
Day 3: Make a brain-boosting morning smoothie. Take some avocado, blueberries, beets, and bananas, and chop them up. Freeze the nutrients overnight. The next day, put everything in a blender with half a cup of almond milk or coconut milk, and half a cup of orange juice. Blend until smooth.
Day 4: Create a lotion that enhances relaxation and reduces stress. Buy a high-quality unscented lotion, then simply add a few drops of lavender or chamomile.
Day 5: Treat yourself to a Friday facial. Make a luxurious sugar scrub, then apply some serum and moisturizer to hydrate.
Focus on self-care and stress reduction
Back-to-school season can be a crazy time for children and parents. But moms and dads need to pay close attention to their kids’ during this time of year, as stress and anxiety can be overlooked in the midst of school shopping.
However, that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t take a break for themselves. Moms and dads should also take time to unwind and rejuvenate, so the stress of getting ready for the new school year doesn’t take too much of a toll. With natural remedies and patience, a new school can become a source of excitement for everyone in the household!
Know someone else who’s anxious about back-to-school season? Share this article with them now so they have all the tools to de-stress!