The start of a new school year is filled with excitement for many kids just like you. But sometimes going back to school causes fear – sometimes called “anxiety.” This is completely normal! There are new people, different things, and routines, and sometimes you don’t really know what to expect. To help you feel more comfortable, our friends at the Healthy365 Connection Center share the following five tips for combating back to school anxiety.
1. It’s a Fresh Start!
One way to overcome back to school anxiety is to think about it differently. If you are feeling nervous, remind yourself: whether you’re starting at a new school or entering the next grade, each school year is a fresh start. Now is the time to come out of your shell. Find your person if you don’t already have one and think of this new school year as a chance to be who you want to be, and not who others think you are. Keep your head up, walk tall and smile. You’ve got this!
2. Invite a Friend
Nothing calms the nerves like seeing a familiar face. Before school starts, ask someone from your class over to play. This can help you get to know your classmates better, while serving as a reminder that you’ll be among friends on your first day of school. Here’s a fun fact — Having a friend during the first few weeks of school can improve your grades and how you feel!
3. It’s Self Care!
In the weeks leading up to school, take the time to prioritize self-care whenever you start to feel stressed out. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be happy and healthy. Do whatever fun and relaxing activities you enjoy. Playing outdoors, reading a good book, or doing something creative like writing, painting, or dancing are all good activities for self-care. These self-care activities can help to calm your nerves and recharge your batteries to reduce stress and improve your overall mood.
4. Keep a Routine
Try to keep a bedtime routine, even when you’re not in school. If that’s impossible, go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up earlier each day. This will help to ease the discomfort of moving from a summer schedule (staying up late and sleeping in) to a school schedule (going to bed early and waking up early). Want to be even more prepared? Get in the habit of setting out your clothes for the next day, too. Not only will this save time and frustration in the morning, but you may get to sleep in a few extra minutes. Who wouldn’t want that?
5. Ready for Bed
Some school nights, you may feel overwhelmed, excited, or nervous, making it hard to go to sleep. However, if you prepare in advance and make sure you have a relaxing evening, you’ll be able to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Do everything you can the night before: lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, and have your bookbag ready to go. With these things taken care of, you can enjoy your night and go to sleep knowing that you are prepared for the day ahead.
The Healthy365 Connection Center is a free, confidential, and centralized connection for health resources. Its team of support navigators helps residents find solutions to our community’s most pressing health issues. To learn more about Healthy365, visit their website at www.behealthy365.org.