Returning to School: How to Handle Uncertainty and Fear

Returning to school during Covid 19 is filled with uncertainty, sudden changes, and concerns for students, parents, teachers, and staff. At Anxiety Training we can’t predict how Covid 19 will affect this school year but we can provide you with skills to handle the anxiety and worries. We know that anxiety can affect learning so it is imperative that everyone in a school community: teachers, students, and parents have the knowledge and skills to help students face their fears and tolerate uncertainty.

When we teach parents and teachers how to coach a child/student through anxiety, we always begin with validating how they feel. This is certainly true now that we have to find a way to come out of quarantine and move into doing things we value, even though we have new risks with Covid 19.

Once you accept and allow how you and your child/student are feeling, the next step is to practice taking reasonable risks in your life so that your brain gets use to this before school begins. Covid 19 is not the only risk in our lives, we live with them all the time. For example, I tell my clients that your brain had to learn how to get use to taking the risk of driving in a car.  Then we can use that concept to teach our brain how to return to school.

For most of us, driving our car is one of the riskiest things we do, yet most of us have little to no anxiety about it. Why?  One way you help your brain handle the risk of driving without sounding the alarm every time you get into the car is by connecting to why you value driving (to visit a friend, to take a vacation, to have more freedom to move further distances). Another way is using appropriate precautions (using a seatbelt, turning on your windshield wipers in a storm, going the speed limit).

Take some time to remind your brain why you value teaching or attending school and what precautions you will be using. Then you will need to be very directive with your anxious brain by taking the actions steps to participate in the school year in a manner that you choose, not in a way that simply makes your anxious brain happy and causes you to avoid things that are important to you.

As the school year returns, we are all bound to feel anxious. Accepting those feelings, taking precautions, and connecting to why we value school are just a few ways to teach your anxious brain to quiet down.

Anxiety Training has created 3 videos to provide your school community everything we know to help you face your fears, live with uncertainty, and find value in what you are doing. We have been teaching these skills for over 10 years and have seen the difference it makes when teachers, students, and parents all have the same skills and speak the same language regarding anxiety. We are excited to offer this series to your school community to help everyone who is struggling with anxiety during the transition back to school. We want to help teachers get back to teaching and students get back to learning!

To learn more about how Anxiety Training can help your school community click here.

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