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Back to School

In the blink of an eye there’s a shift from summertime to preparing for “back to school”. We hone in on the materials list, needed books, clothes, shoes, school lunches, etc. In the wash of preparation has there been attention to reflect on how we are doing with this change?

If we’re students, there is a lot to anticipate. Who is our teacher? Who’s in our class? If certain people are or are not in our class – does that impact our self-esteem, our anxiety? If we’re older students, do we know how to get to our classes? How do we feel about taking the bus? Or walking to school? Do our bodies look different since we were last in school? Is that impacting our feelings about starting the school year? Have we seen our friends during the summer? If not, what will it be like to see them again? Are they still our friends? Who will we sit with at lunch?

If we’re parents, “back to school” means a lot of preparation on our end to just make it to the first day of school. Are we doing this on our own? Are we co-parenting? Parents tend to feel the strain of trying to maintain the regular responsibilities of work and home routines with the demands of going back to school. What does this mean for us financially? Are we calculating how to account for uniforms, lunches, transportation, supplies? As we rush to get it all done, have we checked in with ourselves to see how we’re doing? How our kids are doing?

There’s not a lot of time. Let’s face it. But what if time to reflect on any or all of these questions was just as important as getting the assigned books? What if we placed more value in checking in about our emotional health in this transition? Potential gains…? Less stress, validation, community, increased self-esteem, improved academic performance, improved work performance, stronger communication. Maybe. Maybe therapy can be that safe space to expand that reflection.

Written by:

Lauren Pena MFT, ATR, LMFT # 130687

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