7 Back to School Strategies to Aid in Mental Health and Wellness

Set and enforce a bedtime for everyone in the home. A good night’s rest is essential for performance at school and work. This includes focus, emotional reactivity, decision-making, risk-taking behavior, and judgement. Help ensure everyone achieves their best night of sleep by setting and enforcing healthy bedtime habits for all members of the family.

Pre-school aged children should sleep 10-13 hours each night, while six to twelve-year-old’s require 9-12 hours. Teens need 8-10 hours per night, and adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Encourage kids to explore their interests. Children are naturally curious about the world around them. When they talk about different ideas or ask questions about different activities they are noticing, encourage them to continue learning more about it by researching more about the activity and even trying them out. This can be as simple as taking them on evening walks to search for bugs that they have recently been learning about in school. Maybe they have been asking questions about basketball and it sounds as if they would be interested in trying out for the team. We can help them discover their talents and passions by supporting them with their activities. 

Always keep lines of communication open. For any system to work, communication is key. This should start on day one. Exchanging professional contact information and expressing openness and support for one another can set the relationship up on a positive note. Once that trust is built, it will be easier to discuss issues that arise, avoid misunderstandings, seek clarification, and problem-solve with one another as the year moves forward. 

Set up a daily routine. Consistent routines and rules help to create order and structure for the day. It helps us to know what to expect and leaves little room for guess work. Things run much more smoothly when everyone knows what is coming next. You can help your child and build their confidence by creating a simple morning and bedtime routine that they can frame or post on the fridge for easy reference. 

Maintain a healthy diet. A few benefits of eating a healthy diet include promoting heart health, memory, better sleep, and a better mood. Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids each day. Minimize drinks with too much sugar or caffeine as this can cause your blood sugar to “crash” and decrease your quality of sleep.  

Find your tribe. People tend to lean on their social support network when trying to reach goals or dealing with challenging events. Having support from family and friends might include getting help with a meal when someone is ill or providing empathy and concern when they are having a difficult time. Support groups can be found by connecting with other parents, joining local organizations or a supportive faith-based community, or following groups online that align with your values and beliefs.  

Take a mental health day when needed.  It’s important to listen to your body. Taking a mental health day could be taking an evening off from daily tasks, such as cooking or cleaning. It might mean taking a day off from practices, homework, or chores to simply relax. A mental health day is meant to reduce stress and burnout. When needed, take a day off from school or work. This can provide a pause to come back with more energy, less stress, and a renewed spirit.

We wish you all a great year back to school! 

For more information about our services at Heart 2 Heart Counseling, visit our website and follow us on our Instagram page. 

Website: www.Heart2Heartservices.org

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1 thought on “7 Back to School Strategies to Aid in Mental Health and Wellness”

  1. I love that you included to take a mental health day when needed. I was always taught to push through it no matter what, but there are times we just need a reset so we can be better the next day. Thank you for sharing!

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