This year, heading back to school looks quite different. Some of us are masked, some of us are staring at a computer screen, some of us have taken on the role of teacher, parent and employee simultaneously. Whatever this season looks like for you, here are a few tips from physicians to help you stay healthy in this unprecedented season:

Encourage Proper Hygiene:

Now is a great time to remind your kids about the safest ways to be in public during the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping your distance, frequent hand-washing after eating and using the bathroom or after being around other people are all good reminders to keep our bodies healthy as we transition back to school.

Make a plan

The way our children learn this year is subject to change any day! Set your mind at ease with all of the what-if’s by making a plan. Consider setting up work schedules or contingency plans with your boss to work at home if school moves to a virtual learning model. Talk about a tag team approach with your partner to keep up with the school schedules. Having a plan in place will ease the anxiety about possible changes.

Socialize safely

Covid-19 has left many of us feeling isolated, including our kids! Heading back to school with other children may feel like a bit of a shock. Set up socially distanced play-dates at the park, or separated back yard gatherings with friends to ease back in to socializing.

Get back on a regular sleep schedule

Summer sleep patterns get more relaxed in the summer time, but during the school year every hour of shut-eye counts! Work toward regular bedtimes and minimize screen time in the evening hours to promote restful sleep.

Stick together. Your mental health matters too!

No matter your circumstance, a global pandemic has been hard on all of us in different ways. As we transition back to school, look out for one another and remember that our mental health matters too.

Dr. Craig Sawchuk, chair of the Division of Integrated Behavioral Health at Mayo Clinic suggests four tips for maintaining a healthy mindset this fall:

  • Be Flexible – it’s all subject to change
  • Be Optimistic – remain positive, and model that optimism for our kids
  • Be Supportive – of neighbors, friends and peers with any health measures they are taking
  • Be Kind – stressors are everywhere. We’re in this together!