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How to cope with back-to-school anxiety

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Psychologists say it's typical for families to experience anxiety before the first day of school, but as COVID-19 continues to cause concern some say this school year could be even more stressful.

Psychologists say this school year may cause increased anxiety in both students and parents for a number of reasons.

For students, changes in school functions like virtual learning and eating lunch elsewhere may be nerve-wracking, while parents may worry more about the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and how the school year will operate.

Mary Beth Leibham, a psychology professor at UW-Eau Claire, said parents can help students cope by looking at situations from their children's perspective.

"We may think it's no big deal to eat lunch in the classroom this year as opposed to the cafeteria but take a seven-year-old, take a 10-year-old, that minor change could actually be pretty big to them so don't downplay anxiety and or stress, validate them," Leibham said.

Leibham said common coping mechanisms including healthy eating and sleeping habits can help everyone, including parents, control their anxiety as well.

Evan Hong

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