Well for our family we have had just enough time off for the holidays to dread heading back to the routines of school and work. In just two weeks of sleeping in, parties to attend, and visitors sleeping over at our house; the schedule has become very chaotic. If you have an anxious child or a child that is not looking forward to the return to school here are ways to help them adjust back into their daily routine.
Sleep Signs of Anxiety:
- Trouble falling asleep.
- Trouble staying asleep.
- Waking up early.
A good night’s sleep helps us cope with the activities of the day ahead no matter what age we are. If we are having trouble sleeping daytime trials can overwhelm us, making us anxious. On the flip side of that anxiety can mess with our sleep.
Tips for Dealing with an Anxious Child:
Communication: When you can talk about your fears and worries situations become more manageable. A shared problem is a problem halved, my mother used to say. Ask questions that need an answer other than “yes” or “no”. Discuss strategies for dealing with their nervous fears.
Make a list of things they like about school:
- A friend they only get to see at school.
- How much they like the bus ride.
- Getting to pack their lunch, recess, or art class.
Re-establish the Routine: No matter what your age a repeated routine brings order to the chaos of life. So get back to regular bedtimes, homework, meals and extra curricular activities.
Practice Relaxation Strategies: Learning to breathe when stressed and I mean just focus on the breathing “in” and “out”, can help calm you. Teach your child visualization techniques. Have them pick a place they love where they feel safe and secure, now visualize that place, in your mind go to that place. This is a great one to stop your mind from racing and prepare you for a good night’s rest.
Establish Bedtime Rituals: Doing the same thing in the same way everyday tells your body that it is time for sleep. Pajamas, brush teeth then read a story in bed. Whatever your ritual is practice it faithfully this will set your child up for the best sleep possible.
All nervousness isn’t bad. Most performers and athletes get that anxious feeling before a show or a game. That can help you to focus to do your best. But if anxiety is interrupting your sleep you need to address what is going on before things get worse.