Back to School with Wellbeing in Mind
Many of us are beginning to feel the inevitable end of summer anxiety, which brings with it the return to school for thousands of families all over the country. After what has been an extremely challenging time for many of us including our children, we return to school again this year with the same Covid restrictions as the last.
Although the additional health and safety measures such as masks and distancing for second-level students and pods for primary are important, they have an impact on the social learning that children pick up in schools and have an effect on the relationships we used to take for granted in the classroom.
For many families, these factors can have an impact on the smooth return to school as some young people have additional concerns. The return to school can have an impact on the whole household, and it’s important to plan how best to transition back into the routine while ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of the whole family.
Organising our working lives and our family responsibilities can be a challenging task. Schools reopening again in September often coincide with many workplaces becoming busier as employees return from annual leave. This can mean that our lives suddenly become busier as the demands on our time increase.
One of the most important things for our well-being, both adults and especially children, are routine. A regular routine creates certainty in our days and provides us with the space to think clearly when we are busy. It’s important to plan the daily routine well in advance of the return to school and to focus on the basics such as:
What time the family gets up in the morning.
What time they leave the house.
When homework is completed.
How much screen time is allowed.
What time everyone goes to bed.
Although these may seem basic, many of us have fallen out of this routine over the summer holidays and it’s important to re-establish these routines as quickly as possible.
Sleep, Diet and Exercise.
Along with clear daily routines sleep, diet and exercise play a crucial role in our overall well-being. Establishing good household sleep patterns can reduce stress and anxiety and increase concentration and motivation. Most of us underestimate the amount of sleep we need especially when it comes to children. The amount each individual needs can vary but based on age we know that;
Between ages 6 – 13 we need 9 – 11 hours, no less than 7.
Between ages 14 – 17 we need 8 – 10 hours, no less than 7.
Between ages 18 – 25 we need 7 – 9 hours, no less than 6.