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Managing Back-to-School Anxiety for Working Parents and Their Children During COVID-19

The back-to-school season has always been a bit stressful. Toss a pandemic into the mix and it becomes completely overwhelming. Brand new COVID-19 policies are making life in physical classrooms extremely difficult. Even on the homefront, remote classes and virtual learning elements are just as complicated. With a possible recession looming, parents are also working […]

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The back-to-school season has always been a bit stressful. Toss a pandemic into the mix and it becomes completely overwhelming. Brand new COVID-19 policies are making life in physical classrooms extremely difficult. Even on the homefront, remote classes and virtual learning elements are just as complicated.

With a possible recession looming, parents are also working double-time to make ends meet, as well. This can be something as simple as putting in long hours. It can also consist of adapting to their own new virtual work environments.

With so much going on, it’s easy to feel a bit anxious. Here are four simple tips to help you adjust to that back-to-school anxiety with grace and composure.

1. Stay Organized

When there’s too much going on, structure becomes imperative. Organization is a central factor of that structure. If both you and your child are working/schooling from home, take steps to get organized. You can do this by:

  • Creating a dedicated home workspace for yourself.
  • Creating a dedicated home classroom for your child.
  • Finding creative ways to organize your equipment, such as setting up “school” lockers right in your home.

Remember, an organized space is a stress-free space.

2. Get on a Serious Schedule

Along with the proper organization of your stuff, it’s critical that you structure your time. You can do this by maintaining a tight schedule. Find a good calendar app, like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar. Make sure that both you and your child are comfortable with the app. 

Then, make an effort to keep all of your school and work activities up to date in your schedule. This isn’t just a nice way to keep track of everything. It’s an essential way to ensure that you don’t double book or miss events — or suffer from the anxiety that comes from it.

3. Dominate Time-Management

Scheduling and organization are important ways to stay aware of everything. However, they can only get you so far. It’s also important that you learn to make the best of your time while you’re working. It’s also good to teach your children to do this as well. 

You can practice time management by using many different techniques, such as:

  • Removing distractions from your work and school spaces.
  • Making sure tech and internet connections are working well before starting your day.
  • Batching your work by grouping similar tasks together.
  • Creating healthy work-life (and school-life) boundaries.
  • Tracking results rather than time spent working and schooling.

If you invest in time-management for you and your children, it can help you manage anxiety. You’ll be able to focus and make the most of every hour — indeed, every minute — that you are working.

4. Set the Stage

Finally, remember to set the stage for your workspaces. This is especially important for remote work and school. Having dedicated work and school spaces is a good first step. However, the state of these environments is critical as well. A few ways that you can destress your areas of labor include:

  • Decluttering your school and work areas regularly.
  • Providing access to plenty of natural light.
  • Adding live plants.
  • Hanging biophilic art.
  • Creating productivity playlists.

If you can set the stage for your work, it can dramatically reduce the stress of getting your actual work and school accomplished.

Cracking the Code to Stress-Free Remote Work and School

As you go about making changes, remember to keep a positive mindset. Stress is a normal part of life that can (and should) be managed. However, the goal shouldn’t be to eliminate it. 

Instead, look for ways to create an enjoyable back-to-school adventure for your family. You can stay organized and stick to a schedule. You and your children can sharpen your time-management skills. You can improve your remote work and school stations.

Altogether, these activities can keep the anxiety away and breathe new purpose and meaning into each and every day.

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