Officials give advice for managing back to school anxiety and stress
By Stacia Strong
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 8:58 PM EDT|Updated: 23 hours ago
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The start of the new school year is less than a month away, and as we get closer to August 17th stress and anxiety for educators is on the rise.
Mental Health Experts with Integrated Family Services out of Greenville, say teachers need to be aware of how they are feeling leading up to the new school year and encourages them to face those feelings in positive ways.
“Staff are going to be returning in the most unusual year yet and it’s expected for school staff to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and even fearful of how to meet their students needs with the new requirements,” said Sarah Taylor with Integrated Family Services.
There are several simple things you can do to manage those feelings. “They might choose to do activities like deep breathing, mindfulness exercises or even taking time to do self care,” said Taylor.
School Counselors are also offering advice for educators headed back into the classroom, like being mindful, and using mindfulness techniques.
“It just involves taking a few minutes to yourself to breathe on purpose and just be present with your thoughts and emotions and so what it helps us do is to mitigate or even neutralize that stress response that we all know like that fight or flight or that anxious feeling you get,” said School Counselor Valerie Nasser.
Nasser also suggests that teachers find something that makes them feel better whether that’s alone time, yoga, or even just going for a walk. “Like what do you need, and then set that boundary, I need 20 minutes a day of total time alone even if you’re at home with your family,” said Nasser.
Integrated Family Services offers a number of free resources to help deal with any emotional or mental stress you may be feeling and you can find more information on their website. http://www.integratedfamilyservices.net/ Their Facebook page also has a number of free videos that can help anyone including parents, students, and educators.
Craven County School’s is also offering free services to their educators and they are encouraging their staff to take advantage of those resources.