Supporting Back to School Wellness

Supporting Back to School Wellness

Supporting back to school wellness is essential to setting your children up for a healthy mindset this school year. Many children have mixed feelings about starting a new school year. By creating open communication, you can better understand your child’s worries, and also know how to better support them.

The following consists of ways to help support your children’s mental health as they begin the new school year.

Create Open Communication

Creating open communication between you and your child is an essential step towards providing them support. There are many ways to help create this open and safe dialogue, including the following:

  • Make opportunities to talk by spending one-on-one time with your child and speaking to them in an environment that they feel comfortable in
  • Encourage conversation by starting with open-ended questions, such as “how was your day?” or “what did you do at school today?”
  • Listen carefully to what they say and give them your full attention
  • Encourage their questions to help them learn it is okay to ask you questions, and reassure them you will answer as truthfully and as best you can

Learn the Warning Signs

Although it is normal for your children to feel stress, worry, or even sadness about returning to school, it is important to also know the warning signs of mental health conditions. If these feelings persist, they may indicate your child needs further support for their mental health. In this case, it is important to speak with your child’s healthcare provider to better understand what they are experiencing and what forms of treatment may be beneficial. 

The following are important to look out for, as they may indicate signs of something more serious:

  • Becoming increasingly socially withdrawn
  • Falling behind academically 
  • Missing multiple days of school
  • Expressing interest in harming themselves (if your child is expressing this, it is important to get them immediate help from a healthcare provider)

Discuss Coping Techniques and Self-care

By helping your child learn techniques for coping and self-care, you can help them better manage their mental health. These techniques are not only beneficial for those with a mental health condition, but can also benefit anyone who is experiencing stress, worries, or sadness. There are many ways to practice self-care including, but not limited to:

  • Spending time doing physical activities
  • Eating nutritious foods
  • Working on crafts, playing music, or other activities that allow for creativity
  • Allowing for downtime
  • Getting enough sleep at night