Every fall, schools celebrate homecoming. It is a time when parents, students, faculty and alumni come together and celebrate. Often there is a dance and while schools focus on dress codes, they miss an opportunity to help all students feel welcomed.
Homecoming dances kick off the first of many social events in the school year. A lot of excitement and anticipation is placed on the dance, and things like dates, dresses, suits and after parties all get thrown in the mix. For extraverted, confident girls this is a time to shine. But for the introverts, this event can bring a lot of anxiety.
When girls feel like they don’t fit in, the added pressure of a dance can seem overwhelming.
Everyone around them it seems is planning and preparing and they are struggling to get through the day. Add in the homecoming court, king and queen and it can be especially hard for girls who may be bullied or excluded from social activities as it further isolates them.
At the dance, if your daughter goes with friends there is pressure about who people are dancing with and talking to and it is all discussed both during and afterward the event. Even the most confident girl can feel awkward about the dance. Whether she is with a date it came with friends she may feel everyone is watching her every move. Anxiety isn’t exclusive and can impact anyone.
After the dance it may seem like everything will return to “normal” but there are still days or a few weeks when the kids are still talking about everything that happened. Social media perpetuates the experience with videos on Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook pages both personal or for the school continue the conversation after the event. While it can be fun to see photos from the weekend it can also create big insecurities with girls who begin to analyze everything they see online.
Signs of Post Dance Depression
Social Media Exposure: Snapchat and Instagram images get posted during and immediately after the dance. Seeing these images can cause your daughter to experience insecurities. If your daughter gets quiet when she describes what people are posting or avoids eye contact it may be time to intervene and monitor the conversations.
Feeling Tired: Does your daughter normally have a lot of energy and now seems like she wants to sleep a lot? This is a sign of depression and should be reviewed with a physician. There can be medical reasons why she is tired and even an active daily schedule can be the cause. However fatigue is also one of the first signs of depression.
Change in Appetite: Food is a good indicator of mood. Some girls will eat more when they are depressed and others may have a loss of appetite. In either case it is an indicator that she may need professional help.
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