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 a lot, personally, comes a slew of stresses from back to school and then after school. And then, yeah, guess what? Check the calendar. Here comes the holidays right around the corner with some mental health tips for all of us in the fall season. Back is Dr. Erica Steel. 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 live 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. Uh, let’s talk about some of the mental health challenges that are affecting people. Uh, specifically around this time of year.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So

I think it’s important to look at it from a global perspective, 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 it, 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 mean, I remember when I was a kid, like mm-hmm. right around the end of summer, [00:01:00] uh, in the start of the school year was like the worst time of the year, you know?

Yeah. You just get this feeling of anguish, uh, 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, I think it’s important to recognize that you’re a. , right? You’re leading your kids. So if you’re not managing your schedule properly, 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 suits. So I like to really start it in August. Mm-hmm. , you know, when, when my daughter was. Little, you know, we would start it in August and make that transition and kind of slowly get them back acclimated into, and children, you know, they’re physical suggestible, which means that 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 we really, as parents, we really wanna model the behavior. We want our kids to be successful with.

Speaker 1: And do you think it’s important to be really observant with your kids?

Cuz they might not [00:02:00] not know how to communicate their mental health issues to you effectively? So you really have to be observant,

right?

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.

But yeah, if you see certain behaviors, you know, it’s not just like kids being kids like. Sleeping too much, Right. Or they’re stealing, or they’re yelling, or anger, outburst, or, you know, any kind of behavior that isn’t necessarily deemed healthy. Mm-hmm. , we really wanna kind of take our self-reflection and go, Okay, what’s going on here?

What am I doing? What am I not doing? Am I creating a safe structure for my children?

Speaker 1: Yeah. Um, I, 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. Mm-hmm. , um, educators Yeah. Who have been through a lot over the past few years.

Mm-hmm. . Um, I think a lot of people just want to put their head down and kind of discharge forward, and I’m just, I’m gonna make it. Um, you don’t want to have denial when you’re, when you’re [00:03:00] experiencing mental health issues. Right. Um, what are some tips for the grownups?

Speaker 2: Yeah, so I would say for educators, right, because things change almost every day.

I, I treat a lot of teachers and so I hear kind of all the commentary. , but you know, the brain actually likes stress, right? So it experiences a little bit of stress. It’s almost like a little workout, right? And then it gets to relax. And so if we can utilize these kind of unexpected situations or stress, again, the leadership is really important.

Number one organization is really important. Number two. But then also instead of kind of these changes is feeling like a rocket hit to the brain. Really just kind of 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.

That speak Spanish. And so my phone wasn’t turned on. Right. So I get there, I land, My phone wasn’t turned on. I couldn’t find my rental car place. Right? I could easily, I couldn’t speak the language. All these people I could easily have like freaked out and screamed in the middle of this. That’s kinda throw up exactly.

But I just was [00:04:00] 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 the rental car place. Let me take care of that second.

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

Speaker 1: I love what you said, emotional intelligence. It’s the most important thing. Be present. Take a deep breath. Emotional intelligence just exist in 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?

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

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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