By now, your son has been at this “distance learning” thing for some weeks. Whether he’s schooling from home full-time, navigating a hybrid situation where he gets to see the inside of his school just long enough to remember what one looks like, or familiarizing himself with a newly arranged, strangely designed classroom where his peers feel less like classmates and more like class passersby, one thing is certain: this new situation is stressful, even for the most easy going of guys. And when he’s stressed, you’re stressed. And who among us isn’t a little extra stressed these days?
Now that we’re all on the same page about our rising stress levels (if they weren’t before, you’re welcome), let’s try to bring ‘em all down a notch, eh? Since we can’t control how we all got into this mess, we’re hoping to offer a few ideas that might help give your son some calm and control over his current situation and mindset.
Get organized, stay organized.
It’s a life skill that can’t come too soon. Encourage him to stay on top of his schoolwork with whatever method will work best for him. Some guys are happy to work with good ol’ fashion pen and paper, in which case a daily planner is great for keeping track of assignments, exams, workouts, everything. For those who prefer to keep everything on their phone, there are a handful of great organizational apps that can make him a master of his deadlines.
Create a calm, functioning workspace.
If you’re a parent that has also been working virtually, then you understand the importance of this tip. A roomy, uncluttered tabletop with room to work online and off is paramount to keeping him successfully stress-free. Ideally, it should be away from household distractions like pets, siblings, TV’s — anything that might make him feel like a nuisance in his own home. After all, if he’s constantly clearing off the dining room table to login or Fido keeps interrupting lectures for his 15 minutes of Zoom fame, then odds are his focus will wane and so will his attempt at Zen.
Make a daily routine.
He may not need to catch the bus every day or make sure his car has gas to get him to class, but that doesn’t mean he should be waking up 5 minutes before first period. It’s time to set the alarm, take a shower, put on actual clean clothes, eat a good breakfast, and get to work. He’s been watching you do it since March, so there’s no excuse for how to get it done. There’s no debating the fact that if he’s prepared to start the day, he’ll perform better throughout the day, regardless of the new circumstances. Make sure the shower is stocked with Prep U 2-in-1 Hair + Body Wash to keep things efficient and that our aluminum-free Natural Deodorant is always within reach. We all know how stress sweat can get funky, fast.
Stay fit, physically and mentally.
There’s nothing like a study break to help him remain calm between classes or school days. From a brisk jog around the block to some organized, socially distant group activities with his pals, he’ll do well to get those endorphins churning. There’s no question that exercise helps relieve stress, boost mood and improve sleep, factors that also help keep him mentally strong. And when it comes to his mental fitness, a podcast, free meditation app or book can go a long way to getting him refocused and ready to do it all over again.
Ask for help.
Here he is, knee-deep in hormonal hell and not only have we confined him to his room and computer, but we’ve removed his daily dose of socialization. Every parent knows what it’s like to go through middle and high school—the ups and downs of social life and the toll that can take. But none of us parents know what it’s like to live through a pandemic; to suddenly be removed from our best stress outlets and support systems. So, however sensitively you can say it, encourage your son to reach out to you, teachers, friends or other family members to clear his head and unload his stress. No, we’re not talking about MORE social media because let’s be honest, there’s nothing socially beneficial about that. We’re suggesting real, live, one-on-one conversations with the people he trusts and can commiserate with to ensure he knows he’s not alone in feeling however he feels about this whole crappy thing.
While every boy is different and everyone’s circumstances this year will vary, it’s important to make sure your son can take some matters into his own hands in order to keep calm and school on. Check out more ideas of how to help manage his day and wellness routine on our blog, The Prepster.
Information on this site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Any information on this site is not intended to make claims to any unique individual and/or experience.