Back-to-school mental health tips with Dr. Steele



Speaker 1: So with the end of the lazy days of summer, which I really enjoyed, personally, comes a slew of stresses from back to school and after school. And then, yeah, guess what? Check the calendar. Here come the holidays right around the corner, with some mental health tips for all of us in the fall season. Back is Dr. Erica Steele from Holistic family practice. Dr. Steele, thank you so much for coming back to the show.

Speaker 2: Of course,

Speaker 1: you know, we have your segments on here all the time, but when you’re, you’re life and in person,

Speaker 2: I know it’s such a treat.
Speaker 1: Yeah, this is,

Speaker 2: I know. I love it.

Speaker 1: This is so special. Let’s talk about some of the mental health challenges that are affecting people. Uh, specifically around this time of year.

Back to School Mental Health Tips

Speaker 2: Yeah. So looking at it from a global perspective is essential, right? Because you’ve got the parents, obviously, they’re preparing their kids. You’ve got the kiddos, right? They’re like, Oh no, I gotta go back to school. And then you have the teachers that are like, Oh, no, You know?

Speaker 1: Yes.

Speaker 2: So everybody is kind of. Experiencing this whole transition together.

Speaker 1: Right. What, what are the things we can do to overcome that stress? I remember when I was a kid, right around the end of summer, the start of the school year was the worst time of the year.

Yeah. You just get this feeling of anguish, the social anxiety, all that stuff. What can we do specifically for our kids to help them out?
Speaker 2: Yeah. So as a parent, it’s essential to recognize that you’re a., right? You’re leading your kids. So if you need to manage your schedule correctly, or if you’re all over the place, you fall outta bed and just kind of, you know, go to the day.

Then, of course, your kids are gonna follow suit. So I like to start it in August when my daughter is. So little, you know, we would start it in August and make that transition and slowly get them back acclimated into, and children, you know, they’re physically suggestible, which means they’re gonna watch what you’re doing, right.

More so what you, what you do than what you say. Yeah. So if, again, if you’re very hectic, very frantic, they’re gonna pick that up, and they’re gonna model that behavior. So, as parents, we want to model the behavior. We want our kids to be successful.

Speaker 1: And do you think being observant with your kids is essential? Cuz they might not know how to effectively communicate their mental health issues to you? So you really have to be focused,


Speaker 2: Yes. You have to be self-aware. So emotional intelligence is involved. Yeah. Right. Crucial. Even a hundred percent. And so, of course, adults, we really have to work on that.

emotional intelligence

But yeah, if you see certain behaviors, it’s not just like kids being kids-like. Sleeping too much, Right. Or they’re stealing, yelling, anger, outburst, or, you know, any kind of behavior that isn’t necessarily deemed healthy. . , we really wanna kind of take our self-reflection and go, Okay, what’s going on here? What am I doing? What should I be doing? Am I creating a safe structure for my children?

Speaker 1: Yeah., While we have you, I, I gotta ask about this. You know, parents who might be stressed out because of all the prep that goes into getting their kids back in school educators. Yeah. Who has been through a lot over the past few years?

I think many people just want to put their head down and kind of discharge forward, and I’m just, I’m gonna make it. , you don’t want to have denial when you’re, when you’re experiencing mental health issues. Right. What are some tips for grownups?

Speaker 2: Yeah, for educators, right, because things change almost daily. I treat many teachers, so I hear all the commentary. But the brain actually likes stress, right? So it experiences a bit of pressure. It’s like a little workout, right? And then it gets to relax. And so if we can utilize this kind of unexpected situation or stress, again, leadership is critical.

Number one, an organization is essential. Number two. But then, instead of these changes, it feels like a rocket hit the brain. It’s relaxing. So really brief, brief story. I just came back from Columbia. So I don’t speak Spanish, although I go to all these countries, Right.

They speak Spanish. And so my phone wasn’t turned on. Right. When I got there and landed, my phone wasn’t turned on. So I need help finding my rental car place. Right? I could quickly, but I couldn’t speak the language. These people, I could easily have like freaked out and screamed in the middle of this. That’s a throw-up.

But I was like, Okay, all right, here we go. I’m gonna take a deep breath. Yeah, right. I’m gonna get in the. What’s my order of operations? What do I need to do first? Okay. I need to get my phone on. All right, So let me take care of that first. Okay. I need to find a rental car place. Let me take care of that second.

Yeah, you just have to deal with it as it comes up and sees it as stress and a workout to the brain.

Speaker 1: I love what you said about emotional intelligence. It’s the most important thing. Be present. Take a deep breath. Emotional intelligence just exists at the moment. It’s okay to ask. If people do want help from you specifically, you have a webinar coming up. Can you tell us about that?

deep breath

Speaker 2: Yes, we do it on Saturday; I don’t usually do webinars. It’ll be a good treat for everybody, especially with the school year. Right, and it’s the middle of the day, so you don’t have to wake up early. And we’re gonna talk all about different mental health strategies, things to look for, other questionnaires, and something we can assess our emotions.

Speaker 1: Dr. Erica Steele, Holistic family practice va.com. That’s the website. Go there. She’s got a whole lot of great stuff up there. Thank you so much for coming into the studio today.

Speaker 2: Awesome. Thanks for having me again.

Speaker 1: Yeah. We’ll see you next time.

Speaker 2: I know.

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