I’ve done quite a bit of paddling going upstream on rivers and then back.
A few tips in case any of them help you:
If you paddle along the edge of the river close to the shore the current is slower and you’ll often find obstacles like fallen trees to block the current in front of you.
When rounding a bend going upstream you want to be on the inside of the curve because the current goes to the outside where you would end up fighting more current and also for a longer time since the inside is the shorter path. Even on my local river which takes some effort to cross it is almost always worth doing this as the river snakes around. I suggest crossing at about 45 degrees to the current or your direction of travel since you’ll get across just fine and your boat will remain stable. Even if you get pushed back downstream a bit as you cross that’s fine.
If there is a stretch of river with faster water you want to apply some extra muscle and get through it asap because if you dwell or dawdle in fast current you’ll use up a lot of energy and get little in return.
If the wind is gusting don’t fight the gusts, they will pass. You can back off during gusts.
One thing to beware of is when the wind is strong and helping you get upstream. The wind can be more powerful than the current so it’s easy to fall into the trap of happily surfing upstream with the help of the wind and then turning around to find that the current ain’t gonna get you home and now you have to fight headwinds the whole way back. It’s also good to look at a weather report and to remember that the weather can change quite a bit while you are out paddling and it rarely gets better. Windy days can suddenly turn into incredibly windy days and this tends to happen when you are furthest from your starting point.
It’s good to have your cell phone in a waterproof case (empty peanut butter jar works) and also to tell your family approximately how long you expect to be gone in case something unexpected happens.
I’m a canoe person but I’m pretty sure the same stuff applies to you.