5 Ways to Minimize Stress
I hope the beginning of the school year has been going well for you, but if it’s been a struggle, here are 5 tips to best prepare your students and yourselves to minimize any stress.
1. Normalize Stress
If you see stress affecting your athlete, normalize it. If you notice that their fears or their blocks are coming back, they’re getting frustrated, saying, “Mom! I was making so much progress and now I’m not. I’m stuck on the low beam again and I didn’t go for today,” normalize it. Let them know this is a normal thing. Especially during quarantine and COVID, when stress happens in one area of life, it can be easily spilled over into another.
2. Tell Them It’s Temporary
Both the stress of the start of the year with distance learning and the fear that they’re experiencing – neither of them is permanent. With so many unknowns, it can often feel very permanent and very overwhelming at the time. Just remind them that this is not forever.
3. Give Reminders
Remind them they have skills to handle the situation and remind them of their progress with their fear or their blocks. If they have been progressing, they’ve been using the mental skills we’re talking about, remind them of that. Talk to them about the specific skills that have helped them make progress so they can return back to that. Ask questions like, “What did you learn in the PerformHappy Community? What did you learn one-on-one with your coach that was helpful?” Chances are, by really relying on these skills in the gym, it’s going to help them continue to push through these blocks
Also, talk to them about which of these ideas and skills can they use in distance learning to help them manage their stress or their nerves because chances are, they’re the same ideas. All of these skills that we teach our athletes in the gym are life skills as well, and that’s why a lot of us like working with this age group of kids, teens, kids going to college because these are life skills that will help them in and out of the gym.
4. Minimize Stress
If you notice your athlete is having some distance learning stress and it’s spilling over into the gym, help to minimize stress where you can. Everyone seems kind off and overwhelmed right now. If your child is feeling nervous, give them a few options. Maybe suggest a change of environment – morning classes in the bedroom, afternoon classes outside. Bring back a sense of normal with a FaceTime with friends the night before. They can catch up on school and coordinate outfits for the next morning. Find something to help them adapt to this new way of learning.
If you’ve started and it’s a struggle getting into certain routines, think about what you can do to make those routines a little bit easier. Look at what’s causing any extra stress and worry – you might be able to help with that.
5. Ask for Help
Remember – we’re here to help. We love your athletes and we don’t want them to feel stressed. They will because it’s life, but we want to help them with that. This can be a really good time to check back in if you got out of the habit of coming into the community over the summer because of COVID. Work on getting back into our live trainings, schedule a catch-up session one-on-one with your coach; if you’ve been with us before this is a really good time to get that support again. You’re not alone in this.
Check on Your Stress
If the beginning of the year is causing you, mom or dad, stress, remember that your kids pick up on that, so consider what you can do to manage that. Think of it like the oxygen mask on an airplane – you have to help yourself before you help others. Here are some helpful tips to help manage stress in your household:
- Make a schedule – with so many people in the house at the same time, having a detailed schedule will help keep everyone on track.
- Schedule breaks – within that schedule, make sure you include time away from the computer! Maybe everyone meets in the kitchen for a healthy snack to check-in.
- Schedule self-care – I know it may seem difficult to find time for yourself while trying to manage distance learning (and everything else happening in the household), but even just a few minutes of self-care will make all the difference! Listen to a podcast episode, call a friend, sit in your yard and listen to music – whatever it is, fit it in, even if it’s just for a few minutes!
- Move – You and the kid(s) should get out for a walk, even if it’s just around the block. If the weather is too hot or too cold, get up and do some quick stretches. Movement is going to keep your brain and body energized!
As you get situated into the new school year, remember that everyone handles this transition time differently, both your kids and you. For some of our athletes, this is going to be a time where they feel a little more nervous, especially because they’ve been away from their friends and the gym for so long. You might see flare-ups of their fears, their blocks, or maybe their progress starts to stall, but the good news is they can work through it. Let us know if you do need some support on this because again, you’re not alone, they’re not alone, and we are here to help you.