Mental Health Resources
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Ready or Not, It's Back to School!
Transitions are stressful – even expected ones. This month many families will be experiencing one of the most challenging transitions of the year – back to school!
The stress of a new school year can be felt by everyone in the family system, though it may come from different sources or for different reasons. Parents experience financial stress caused by the need to outfit their kids and purchase school supplies. Children experience the stress of new teachers and, in some cases, new schools and/or new schedules. Typically, everyone in the family experiences stress associated with adjusting to new daily schedules and establishing or renewing meal, bedtime, and homework routines.
Stress affects everyone differently. What stresses one person may hardly register on another person’s barometer of stress, and vice-versa. But within families, the emotional dysregulation experienced by one person due to stress may impact the mood or emotions of other family members, also known as “emotional contagion” between persons.
Cumulative stress is another fact of life. The stress that accompanies going back to school may co-occur with other life stressors being experienced by the family or a member of it.
During stressful times, our ability to communicate and manage conflict effectively becomes more difficult. “Drive-by conversations” become more common because everyone is so busy. Irritability and impatience can occur more frequently. Drs. Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson, in their book No-Drama Discipline, give some very helpful advice for calming the chaos that sometimes results from increased stress in a family.
The term self-care describes the actions that an individual might take in order to reach optimal physical and mental health. Self-care can also refer to activities that an individual engages in to relax or attain emotional well-being, such as meditating, journaling, or visiting a counselor.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
Mental health is the successful performance of mental function.
Mental illness is a diagnosed disturbance in thinking or feeling.
Suicide is a mixture of neurochemical vulnerability, desperation, and circumstance.
Wholehearted living is engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. -Brene Brown