Ways to manage back-to-school stress amid pandemic

Ways to manage back-to-school stress amid pandemic

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - As the situation for students returning to school continues to change and a number of differences have popped up since last year, returning to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful.

Patricia Calabrese a child and adolescence psychiatric nurse practitioner with Pine Grove Behavioral Health, has tips to make back-to-school less stressful.

First, parents need to remain calm to keep their children calm.

“The less anxious the parent is, the more comfortable they are, the more they show that they’re comfortable and feel good about school starting and the decision they made about returning to school, the less anxious the child will be,” Calabrese said.

There are certain things parents and kids do each year around the start of the school year.

Calabrese says continue to do them and it will feel more normal.

“Try to act like this is as normal a year as possible, then go ahead and get a new backpack or order a new backpack,” said Calabrese.

The usual routine may also be interrupted with students spending certain days at home and others in the classroom, so maintaining a routine is important.

“The one thing that decreases anxiety and allows for calm is routine,” Calabrese said.

Also, allowing some social interaction can be helpful, especially for middle and high school students.

Calabrese says it’s OK for parents to complain about the changes, but it’s best to avoid doing it in front of children.

“Maybe that’s a half hour before bed at night where they call a friend or another parent in their kid’s class, they complain to or discuss their worries to,” Calabrese said.

While there is a lot of information coming out every day and changes being made to plans, Calabrese says to keep track of it all by taking notes.

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