The return to school brings a lot of emotions. Some people are excited, while others may feel stressed, scared, or nervous. And it is often the parents that are experiencing these feelings! The end of summer and beginning of the school year can bring out anxiety and ADHD in adult women and men, and there are various reasons for this. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the associated anxiety so you can support your kids in their academic journey.
It is not unusual for adults to continue to have school-related nightmares, even if it has been decades since they were students. That is because not only did they spend so much time in school, but it was also during impressionable years. As summer starts to wrap up, this can bring anxious memories back.
Parents tend to mirror their worries onto their children. For example, if parents experienced bullying as a child, they may project their fear unnecessarily to their son or daughter. Parents may also push their children to partake in activities or excel in a particular subject because of their own past experiences.
Another reason there is an increase in anxiety is that the carefree days of summer are gone, and there are many more activities and schedules to think about. There may be anxious feelings around homework or getting the kids to all their different extracurriculars on time. Due to these factors, back to school is a common time that people search for the best ADHD medication for adults with anxiety.
One way to minimize the need for OTC anxiety medication is to take a positive spin on what is happening. It is ok, and healthy, to acknowledge your emotions, but once you do, focus on what you can control.
Remind yourself that your children are different than you, and their school experiences will also be different. Focus on new friends your children may meet, new activities they will partake in, and fun times ahead. If necessary, incorporate relaxation techniques, such as meditation or breathing exercises, for 10 to 15 minutes when you feel your anxiety getting the best of you.
At the end of each day, ask your children what their favorite parts of their days were, so that everyone acknowledges the positive aspects of the school day.
One way to manage anxiety is to make healthy habits a part of your routine. Limit junk food, alcohol, and desserts, and focus on cooking homemade meals with organic vegetables, lean meats, and fiber-rich grains.
Exercise does wonders for anxiety. If you feel anxious after dropping your kids off at school, go for a walk or hit the gym and lift some weights. If you work during the day, get up early to get in a workout before the kids wake up, or incorporate movement into your after-work routine.
Sleep is also an extremely important part of reducing anxiety symptoms. Limit screen time before bed and have a regular sleep schedule. Aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.