Overwhelmed? Part 1

School has started, new routines are in place.  How is your student coping?  Are you starting to see signs of stress of overwhelm? And how would you know?  We are going to tackle stress and feeling overwhelmed in 3 parts: how does it feel, what are some patterns that drive feeling overwhelmed or stressed, and how to cope.

How do you know if your student is overwhelmed?  While the experience varies by person, here are some common experiences:

  • Does your student seem more fatigued than usual?  Does this go beyond a sleep deficit? Or is sleep quality or quantity perhaps impacted by stress?  Does the fatigue vary over time (more energy after a preferred class, less energy after a less preferred/less structure/”ugh” type class)?  Always fatigued during homework time? Or just before heading off to school?
    • See if you can drill down to the fatigue origins: quality, quantity, or fatigue despite adequate stress.
  • Changes in concentration: Does your student struggle to concentrate, follow along, or seem to get “in her head” or seem daydreamy when the situation requires concentration?
  • Changes in socialization: Does your child seem to hole up in his room, withdraw from the family, or struggle to have the energy to hang with friends?
  • Changes in mood: anger, anxiety, sadness. Does your student seem to be more stressed, stress out about small issues, or struggle with problem solving things that were once easy to fix concerns?
  • Changes in appetite. Does your student struggle to eat, or seem drawn to eating poor quality foods?
  • Withdrawn into a fantasy world, or video games. Does your student seem to withdraw from reality and prefer to live in a fantasy land, avoiding current responsibilities?

If you are seeing some of these signs of feeling overwhelmed, see if you can connect with your student to determine the origin of the stress.  Next post: patterns of what drives stress and feeling overwhelmed.  Stay tuned J