This back-to-school season will be different for many parents and their children. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many school boards in North America have shifted their curriculums to accommodate teachers and students. Although some school boards have introduced stricter measures compared to others, this school year will certainly be different with social distancing being enforced, and some students opting to move forward with online learning instead of in-person classes.
For many Toronto students, September 15 marks the official first day of back-to-school, according to the Toronto District School Board. While other districts have already started the school year, there are still a lot of worries from both parents and students about the outcome of this revised school plan, due to fears of a second-wave of COVID-19, and the beginning of flu season.
According to a Herbalife Nutrition poll conducted last year, it was found that 57 percent of parents who have children between the ages of 5-18 view back-to-school season as being the most stressful time of the year, as reported by the New York Post.
In a more recent study that was released by the Kaiser Family Foundation last month, it found that parents are feeling much more stressed with the Fall 2020 back-to-school season, as many are worried about the well-being of their children, and the quality of education their children will receive with COVID-19 affecting school procedures. The study particularly noted that 69 percent of mothers have experienced adverse health effects such as difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite due to COVID-19, compared to only 51 percent of fathers.
This is where the importance of corporate wellness programs step in, which is dire during the back-to-school season, where parents are feeling more stressed especially with the COVID-19 pandemic added to the mix. For many parents who have access to these resources, they have the ability to use these programs and benefit from it tremendously even outside the workplace, as discussed in our previous blog.
How Wellness Programs Can Help Parents In Back-to-School Season
In a study by UnitedHealthcare, it found that 53 percent of employees believe that wellness programs have improved their health. In addition, it also found that 62 percent of employees who used wellness programs had an increase in work productivity.
“By investing in wellness programs, employers are in a unique position to drive engagement and create healthier, happier and more productive workforces,” said Rebecca Madsen, UnitedHealthcare chief consumer officer in a news release from BusinessWire.
Given how beneficial these programs are towards the health and wellbeing of employees, parents can take some of the concepts they learn in these programs and apply it outside of the workplace.
1) Learn to Manage Stress
As previously mentioned, preparing for back-to-school is stressful for parents. From preparing meals, to gathering the proper school supplies, to even ensuring that their children are doing well in school. Now with COVID-19 making this matter much more complicated since some children are going to be learning remotely, some parents may feel the stress of having to keep an extra eye out on their children while having to work themselves.
Some wellness programs offer ideas and practices on how to manage stress. For instance, Well Street offers an online seminar titled “Coping In Times of Stress & Uncertainty” which explores the ways parents could introduce healthy practices in managing stress. From learning breathing practices, to building resilience, this type of program can be used to alleviate the stress of being a parent during back-to-school season.
2) Time Management and Self-Care
Being a parent can be a balancing act. How do you manage in ensuring the wellness of your children, while also taking the time to make sure that you, as the parent, also remain healthy? Especially with back-to-school, parents may be dedicating more time in checking in on their children to make sure that they are focused on their studies.
Well Street offers an online seminar titled “In Time: Juggling Everything in 24-Hours” which navigates the ways individuals can manage their obligations without feeling burned out. While learning about time management practices, individuals can introduce healthy self-care routines into their lifestyles in order to boost productivity. A program like this can be beneficial for parents given the amount of tasks they have to balance in and out of work.
3) Taking Care of Your Body
It is important to remember that wellness does not just apply to mental health, but also towards physical health. Especially now with COVID-19 forcing parents and some students to stay at home, the amount of hours spent sitting at a desk can take a toll on the physical health of everyone all around.
Wellness programs have introduced various measures that individuals can follow to enhance their physical health. For example, Well Street offers a couple of online seminars that introduce healthy habits, from “Loosen Up: Reducing Muscle Tension” which explores ways to reduce muscle tension from sitting for too long, to “Brain Food: Eating for Energy & Focus” which educates individuals to nurture their brains through a healthy diet.
While these are just some of the benefits that wellness programs offer for parents, there are certainly much more. Back-to-school season is stressful, but a company who chooses to invest in corporate wellness programs can certainly support their employees, who are also parents with children who go to school.
4) Getting a Good Nights Sleep
Our friends at Pascoe, are here to help keep us informed when it comes to sleep and it’s relation to immune health this Fall.
In their most recent blog post it is stated that, “This attitude of relentless hustle seems ingrained in society. There is certainly something to be said about hard work. Yet this anti-sleep culture is hurting our health. Sleep deprivation and pushing past the point of exhaustion comes with consequences, especially for our immune system.”
Learn more about sleep deprivation and the immune system HERE.
How Well Street Can Help
At Well Street, we are founded on the principles of introducing healthy practices to the workplace, which encompasses both mental and physical health. Comprised of medical professionals who have a background in naturopathy, we aim to help organizations foster a healthy corporate environment in order to boost productivity and morale.
If you are an employee, and a parent, perhaps it may be beneficial to pitch the idea of bringing corporate wellness practices to your company. To help manage the stress of this year in particular we have developed a new seminar: Mental Health: Adjusting to a New Normal
“It’s no secret that 2020 has brought on stress, and change. In this interactive seminar our doctor facilitators will take your team through the signs and symptoms of various mental illnesses and how we can take a preventive approach when it comes to our own mental health”.
If you would like to learn more about how our team can help your company, consider contacting us to find out more. We are happy to provide you with guidelines and approaches to support the wellbeing of your team members through virtual seminars.