Monday, July 20th feels like a date that might be rooted in my head for quite some time. The day the plans for the Fall 2019 school year will be announced for St. Louis schools.
Though many schools have already started to signal what options are on the table, there is something to a formal announcement that often brings with it a lot of emotions. Here, it might be dashed hope; a true pit in the stomach; deep feelings of dread; perhaps relief.
A formal announcement also means that formal decisions on the parents’ end is now the next step. Which also can bring a lot of emotions. A desire to be anywhere but in the place of making this particular decision. A desire to just be told what to do. Tiredness at all the decisions you’ve been making lately. Exhaustion weighing all of the options.
I hear you! I truly do.
And while I can’t wave a magic wand or click red glittery shoes to make it go away for you, I can offer just a few tips that can lessen that negative emotional impact; soothe some of the chaos of feeling like so much is out of your control; and remind of a few things that are still true, despite this year that has been 2020.
Tips to handle Monday’s announcement for St. Louis schools:
-plan on being off Facebook and other social media for at least that day, if not the whole week. Everyone’s comments and posts—whether they are ones that echo your sentiments or go directly against them—are only going to heighten your emotions, which are already a little (maybe a lot) frayed.
-pick only 3 or 4 people you will check in about this OR only 3-4 people who you will allow to influence your decision about what you will do. More than that and you’ll be overwhelmed with opinions, there won’t be an end in sight to getting all of those opinions, and you’ll start to feel even more out of control. This virus has already done that enough; you have my permission and even my encouragement to take back some of that control.
-you’ve already thought through a lot of the options—realize that Monday isn’t going to be THAT surprising or new or shocking, but take some time this weekend to think them through again. Try doing this in a quiet, calm place even if it’s only for 5 minutes. If you can quiet your mind while thinking through the options, your mind will start to relax even just a little anxiety around them.
-know that creative problem-solving is available. It may take energy, time, money or some combination of all of those. Certain combinations may preclude you from some of those solutions. But solutions do exist. And that solution may have to be “I’m going to have to get through this.” Which itself, has a creative way to be done.
-once the announcement is made, there will still be time to figure out how you are going to execute your solution/option/etc. In other words, there will be time to adjust. Your brain may try to scream at you something like “OMG YOU MUST FIGURE OUT ALL OF THE THINGS RIGHT NOW” but your brain is lying to you and you can tell it I said so.
-remember in March when you thought to yourself, “these two weeks are SO HARD and I won’t be able to get through this much longer than that!”?! Well, here we are 4 months later and look at you: all getting through it and stuff.
-hear this: this is a pretty sucky situation for some people and you have every right to hate that this is where we are. Your annoyance, anger, etc is allowed. It is not allowed to make a permanent home in you. You deserve a better life than that.
-help is out there.
Talk to you soon!
Marble Wellness is a St. Louis counseling practice that specializes in counseling for anxiety & stress, depression, and maternal mental health. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website. If you have questions or would like to get started in working together in the therapy process, contact us today!