Going Back to School? Take Care of Your Mind and Body with These Tips

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Are we back in school yet? Hooray? A season that is usually a time of relief and excitement for both students and parents is anything but that in the chaos of 2020.

The patchwork government response to the pandemic and the fluctuating status of the virus in your local area means students may or may not have the all-clear to head back to physical classes. And if they have the all-clear, it might not actually be “clear.” In-person classrooms could be putting students, parents, and entire communities at-risk. Meanwhile, stay-at-home virtual education comes with its own set of demands and stresses.

So whether you’re a student, teacher, parent, or school staff member, whether you’re on site or remote, you’ve got a lot more on your mind than just 2+2=4. It’s probably causing you a good deal of stress, whether you know it or not.

 

Consider the Physical Side of Education

Especially when students are confined at home, it’s important not to forget the importance of P.E. Maybe you don’t have a gym coach barking at you from the sidelines, but you still need to get up and move every once in a while. Physical activity calms the brain and relieves stress—it doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or a teacher. It helps you refocus before that next Zoom history lesson.

For a quick energy burn between classes, consider a strength workout with these five full-body movements: 

  1. Throw down some burpees. This classic cardio exercise is great for the core, legs, arms, chest, and back.
  2. Squats with weights, resistance tubing, or just body weight alone are a practical lower body exercise to help you cope with the long hours seated in front of a computer screen.
  3. Combine push ups, planks, and dumbbells for a set of renegade rows to give your back, shoulders, and arms the strength to carry the burden of being a scholastic hero in 2020.
  4. Dumbbell or barbell thrusters take your squats to the next level with shoulder presses. Focus on the burn and let the stress of that English test become past participle.
  5. Woodchoppers work all your muscle groups for core stability, balance, and coordination. You’re alone in the forest now. They’ll never find you here.

It’s also important not to forget regular cardio exercise. Keep the heart and lungs strong, keep the blood pressure down, and sweat out all the stress of being back(ish) in school. You can get outside for a walk, run, or bike if that’s possible. Otherwise there’s no excuse not to work out indoors with any of these live virtual workouts. 

 

Don’t Forget to Stretch

Whether before or after a workout, or just on their own, at-home stretches are a great way to relax and take your mind off of grades, spotty Internet connections, and fluctuating percent positive rates. Inhale. Exhale. Stretch. Breathe. Breathe. Just keep breathing.

 

Last But Not Least, How’s Your Posture?

Especially for those newly working from home, whether student or educator, what’s your workspace like? Have you cobbled together a new desk in the corner of the kitchen from an old ironing board and a folding chair you pulled out of the back of the closet? Is it an ergonomic nightmare? Well then, it’s time to put some thought into making your workspace comfortable and safe for longterm use. You might be here for a while, after all, and a stiff neck from a poorly placed monitor or keyboard can quickly become more than a minor annoyance. Check out our posture tips for optimally setting up your brand new “office” … coincidentally, they also include the encouragement to exercise and stretch!