School's a Given, but Anxiety Doesn't Need to Be

By Donna Stark

The start of school is right around the corner and for many families that means getting back into a routine. But for many children, it means separation and anxiety. My daughter’s school actually started mid-July, so we have already gone through those raw, fresh feelings of being away from home and of feeling awkward and uncomfortable in her new setting. Change can be difficult for children, transitions can be hard, and although they usually work themselves out quicker than it feels, there are some things you can do to lessen your child’s anxiety and help them feel secure when they are away from home.

Reducing Your Child’s Anxiety

Your child is at school to learn, yet they aren’t being taught how to deal with their separation anxiety. So it’s up to you to provide exactly what they need in order to have successful days away from home that are filled with joy and peace. Here’s how you can help.

  • Healthy diet - A nutritious diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is the foundation to a child’s success at school and key to reducing the anxiety that they may be experiencing on a daily basis.
  • Adequate sleep - Getting plenty of sleep will help your child tackle the day ahead of them! In addition to providing more energy and better concentration during class time, a proper night’s rest will also help your child handle situations that could potentially become very overwhelming.
  • Positive thoughts - It’s been said that the brain can’t produce anxious thoughts if it is producing positive thoughts, so keep the gratitude flowing by teaching your child the strategy of positive thinking!
  • Mementos from home - Everyone loves to receive a little note of love, so tuck one in your child’s lunchbox or backpack. This can help your child feel more comfortable at school and will remind them that they are being thought of. This also helps with the positive thinking!
  • Activities - Involving your child in activities will give them something to look forward to and will provide an opportunity to meet new friends. This can also be a great way to build and maintain a strong support system of friends, coaches, and teachers when away from home.
  • Goodbyes - The time spent saying goodbye for the day matters, so slow down, push the distractions to the side, and give it everything you’ve got. These precious few moments can help set the tone for what comes next, so instead of rushing through it with a quick wave, try some eye-to-eye contact, a big hug, and some encouraging words instead.

Here’s to the Year Ahead

Navigating all of the changes and transitions that come with a new school year can be hard, but your child is prepared! Just get through those first few days because after that, it’s easy-goings!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mesa, Ariz.

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