September 1

Stressed about Back to School?


Back to School Stress Doesn’t Just Affect Kids. 63% of moms are said to have the hardest time with back to school stress, according to a recent survey by Kiddie Academy.

It’s that time of year again…

The rumblings of school buses – does it conjure up feelings of nostalgia, excitement or feeling stressed about back to school? It depends on where you are in life, right?

Now that I am an empty nester, I fondly recall back to school shopping, “first-day” pictures by the front door, and other sweet memories.

But, back when my kids were in middle school, it was a totally different story! Middle school, in my opinion, was probably the most stressful time as a mom (and probably for my kids too!) “Middle school was the best time of my life”, said no one EVER! We hope and want our kids to be enjoying school, and yet many times that is not the case.

We all have different “stress triggers” and for many, something as simple as shopping for back to school supplies can be incredibly stressful. For many families, the financial expense of new clothes, sports or musical equipment, and all the other stuff kids need now days creates A LOT of stress!

And when parents are stressed, most likely the kids are too – they feel it! As the kids grow, so do their stress levels. By the time they get to high school, many are as just as stressed out as adults! These are old statistics – our kids’, teens’ and young adults’ stress levels are at crisis point! The American Psychological Association found, in a 2013 survey, that teens are most stressed about:

  • school (83%)
  • getting into a good college or deciding what to do after high school (69%)
  • financial concerns for their family (65%)

This is a big reason why I was president of my kids’ high school PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) for many years. I wanted to see how I could help parents and teens to manage their stress better. I was able to hold workshops and teach parents simple yet powerful techniques to help manage their day-to-day stress and anxiety.

Whether it is going to an unfamiliar school, the routine of school, the reality of school or simply a new school year, there are ways you can star lowering the stress before the new school year starts.

3 Simple Breathing Exercises For School Stress (for moms and kids!)

  • Crossing The Midline: At first glance, this easy technique appears to be too simple to work, yet when you do it you will feel how effective it is. Grab a ball or anything within arm’s reach (water bottle, keys, etc.). Notice your stress or anxiety and rate it from 1 – 10. Now, begin to pass the ball from one hand to the other, passing it back and forth, back and forth – making sure to cross the midline of the body. Do this for about a minute and then check in with that stress or anxiety and notice what number it is now. If some of those feelings are still there, simply toss the ball back and forth for another minute or so. Repeat for as many times as you need to make it dissipate completely or at least bring it down to a manageable level.
  • Square Breathing : This is one of MANY breath techniques I teach. You can do this anytime, anywhere! No equipment needed!Imagine a square or draw one on a piece of paper. (You can simply trace the square on your leg) Begin at the top left corner and as you follow that line across to the right, inhale to the count of 4. Then HOLD your breath to the count of 4 as you follow that line down. Then EXHALE to the count of 4 as you follow that line to the left. HOLD your breath to the count of 4 as you follow the line back up to the place you began. Repeat as many times as you need.
  • Count To 10: We’ve all heard “count to 10”, but this is a different version – and it works! Rather than simply counting 1 – 10 (and usually when we do this we are stressed or angry or frustrated, so we go really fast!), close your eyes and breathe slowly, imagining that you are breathing in and our of your heart – counting your breaths. 1 – inhale, exhale; 2 -inhale, exhale; 3…. When you get to 10, take a breath and notice how you feel calmer!

Please don’t let the simplicity of these fool you – the real power is in their simplicity AND in using them on a regular basis. Just like we brush our teeth to prevent cavities, we can use these simple and powerful techniques to help feel less stressed about back to school and all year long! When we begin to practice these techniques and let them become part of the routine, then when school does start, your son or daughter (and YOU) can have less stress all year long.

Years ago, when I still had my in person hypnosis practice, a smart young mom brought her 8-year-old to see me. His school was suggesting some ways to help lower his stress and mom was not interested in going down that route.  He learned how to calm his stress before it became huge and out of control and when he went into 4th grade, his back to school stress was much lower and he was able to feel in control. Mom was happy, the kid was happy, the teacher was happy. So simple!

Done with stress running the show? Ready to create the life of YOUR DREAMS?

If you’d like some individualized help to lower your stress, I’d love to help you and/or your child. 

The first step is to schedule a complimentary 15 minute call so you have an opportunity to get real with me and yourself about what’s really hitting all of your stress buttons. By the time we’re done, we’ll both know if working together makes sense for both of us!

Are you ready to experience freedom from the past and embrace what’s possible? Click here for a free 15 minute consultation.


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  1. I just LOVE the Square Breathing technique! It is amazing <3 Back to school was ALWAYS a stress night mare when I was growing up. So glad those days are far behind me!!

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