Whether you are a college student, a parent, or a teacher, you have probably dealt with stress associated with back-to-school. However, by setting some time aside to participate in self-care, you may be able to ease the stresses of back-to-school.
Self-care is a broad term that encompasses everything you do intentionally to improve your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. According to a study conducted by Very Well Mind, self-care can help alleviate stress. Hence, we’ve combined some self-care tips for students, parents and teachers to arm themselves with for the smoothest back-to-school season yet.
Practice positive listening
This tip applies to anyone. What we listen to has an impact on us. You might have heard of dopamine before. If not, dopamine is a naturally occurring happy chemical our brains receive as part of a reward system. So, when you listen to music that gives you the chills, it triggers a release of dopamine to your brain. A study found that people who intentionally listened to upbeat music improved their moods and happiness. You could start by making a playlist of your favourite songs or simply look for happy, feel-good playlists on your preferred music streaming service. You can listen to some self-care and self-improvement podcasts as well. Whether you are stuck in traffic on your way to school, worried about your child’s back-to-school expenses or apprehending the start of a new academic year, there are so many podcasts you can listen to put your mind at ease.
Allocate some relaxation time
Remember when we talked about dopamine? Well, it is not only released during peak musical moments but also when we anticipate moments. Setting some time off school and parental responsibilities from time to time will help you reset mentally and physically. Self-care is different for so many people. It could be
Scheduling time in your week for your hobby.
Treating yourself to a calming bubble bath.
Practising mindfulness every morning.
Practising your favourite sport, listening to music, having a bath, or just sleeping.
Simply looking forward to your moment of relaxation is enough to lift your mood. Whatever it is, make sure it is enjoyable and allows you to take your mind off.
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Create an at-home learning space
Whether you are taking in-person classes or not, it is critical you develop habits and practices that promote student success. Establishing habits, for example, might be beneficial as you enter the new school year. Whether you are a student or a teacher, you must have a dedicated work/study area - a location that your mind and body will identify with work. This area should ideally be well-lit as we are all naturally drawn towards sunlight, and quiet. In his seminal work, A Pattern Language (1977), Christopher Alexander, Emeritus Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley, proposed that low levels of light in classrooms impacted students' capacity to manage the body's normal cycle of sleep and wakefulness. In other words, you are less likely to fall asleep in a well-lit room.
Adopt a healthy sleep routine before school resumes
Establishing designated learning and working areas at home is just as important as developing healthy sleep routines. We do not need to tell you how important it is to be well-rested and the risks of not being. Sleep schedules understandably loosen up during school breaks, hence the importance of adopting a back-to-school sleep hygiene. You can do that by:
Practising going to sleep early a few weeks/days before school resumes
Avoiding too many extracurricular activities as school resumption nears
Improving the quality of your sleep by keeping your room cool, dark, and quiet
Keeping electronics away
Back-to-school does not have to be a stressful time. Being deliberate about self-care during this time, may help everyone be less stressed and better prepared for a good school year.