It’s that time of year again. School supply shopping and the rush to get in those last-minute trips to the lake before the school bell rings for the first day back to class. As a mom, I enjoy the return to a familiar routine and prepping my kid’s new fall wardrobe. Yet with that excitement comes a bit of the new school year jitters that seem to be complicated with the current world situation.

This article is an invitation for you, parents and students, to contemplate what are some of your biggest excitements, worries, or fears that might be moving through your mind as you enter into the fall. This isn’t about changing them but simply gaining awareness so you can create new choices – choices that feel lighter for you.

Some of the top concerns for parents and students entering the new school year include:

Students falling behind academically – The past two years have been a chaotic mess of uncertainty regarding online or in-person learning. We have had to adjust our schedules, locations and minds to absorb new information. Many students and their parents have been worried about what these changes mean for their learning. This is a reminder that you are not alone. Many students across the globe have gone through this uncertainty and have had drastic changes to their learning styles.

Some things to remember:

Students: Do the best you can. You have been through a pandemic. Most of your parents can’t say they have done that! So do some self-care and pat yourself on the back.

You deserve to celebrate that you’ve made it this far!

Parents: Remember that academics is not all there is to life. Your child’s mental health should be priority number one. Research has shown that stress can possibly lead to a reduction in grades, problems with self -esteem and attitudes towards teachers. What steps can you take as a team to reduce the study load so the brain can better compute information?

COVID Blues – Though the summer is ending and many social activities have been reopened, we cannot deny that COVID is still a lingering thought on many peoples’ minds. The uncertainty of the upcoming transition to winter means flu/cold season will soon be upon us, with the possibilities of COVID striking again. No one wants to be a Debby Downer, but the reality is that sickness strikes. The positive is we can be proactive and care for our bodies.

A huge part of boosting your immunity is reducing stress. When we experience a more relaxed state of mind, our body’s ability to keep healthy and strong increases. Be proactive and get proper rest. Go to bed at a regular time that works for you.

Be active and move your body. Last but not least, get out in the sun, even if it is cold outside – bundle up and get some vitamin D; let those sun rays heal your body and mind.

Overwhelm from Social Situations – If you are anything like me, you have come to have a new appreciation of the meaning of keeping distance from others. After two years of physical distancing, our energetic and personal boundaries have shifted. Social interactions we once found fulfilling may not do it for us anymore.

Remember, it is 100% okay to set personal boundaries and say NO to social invites or requests to hang out with friends you previously got along with.

Our relationships are shifting along with the rest of our lives over these past two years. You get to choose who you spend time with. Maintain those relationships that are positive, healthy, and empowering and let go of the ones that aren’t. You will be happy you did.

Have fun as you enter this next school term by engaging in these simple steps. By intending for a positive, fun-filled 2022-2023 school year, you will see how much easier life can be!

Written by Fola Veritas