*Disclaimer: These tips are not intended as psychological help, but merely general advice for school stress and worries. If you are experiencing anxiety on a regular basis, for prolonged periods of time, or to the extent of negatively impacting your day to day wellbeing, you should seek help from a trusted adult or councillor*
The Summer holidays have just wrapped up, and the 2018 school year is now hurtling towards us at full force. The transition between break and study isn’t always an easy one, and can bring with it plenty of anxieties. New subjects, new classes, and a bigger workload is a recipe for emotional overload. But fear not - there are some ways to manage those back to school nerves and start the year off on a positive note.
1) Routine, routine, routine This one seems obvious, and you’ve probably heard it a million times from teachers and relatives, but creating and sticking to a routine is one of the best ways to deal with change. Within that routine, you’ll want to create healthy habits - get plenty of sleep, eat well, and exercise a little every day. This method may seem a little tired, and yes, it is easier said than done. But, making sure you take care of your body and creating structure for yourself will make everything else seem just that little bit more manageable. If it helps, take up bullet journaling, or draw up a schedule and put it on your wall. Whatever method works for you, a little bit of effort in organising your day will go a long way.
2) Find small ways to take breaks Something that’s often neglected when students are told to manage their time is the importance of chilling out. There’s a lot expected of us in each day - six hour at school, eight hours of sleep, homework, extra-curricular activities, part-time jobs... it’s a wonder we can fit anything else into each 24 hours. However, if you stick to just those regimented activities, you’re going to feel overwhelmed. Take some time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy, or that calms you down. It might be going for a walk, listening to music, drawing, reading, writing, or even meditating. Don’t underestimate the importance of a little you-time amongst all the pressures of student life.
3) Talk through your worries No one’s a stranger to the wrath of the dreaded “what ifs?”. There’s a lot to consider - friends, grades, the future - and it’s so easy to overthink and jump to the worst possible conclusion. Find someone who you can work through these concerns with, and who will provide a voice of reason. Often, you’ll find even the worst case scenario is something you can handle. Once your fears are spoken aloud and discussed logically, you might find they appear less daunting.
4) Explore online resources The task of reorganising your life for school can be daunting, and finding motivation isn’t often easy. Luckily, there’s a tonne of online resources dedicated to helping you with just that. ReachOut has a whole article dedicated to back to school apps, that specialise in everything from sleep tracking, to gratitude, to general organisation. If any of these apps appeal to you, give them a try! There’s plenty more resources for you to access on sites like ReachOut, Headspace and the Kids Helpline website, so you’re never alone if you need a bit of help getting back into school life.
You can access ReachOut’s back to school app list at the link here.
So, there you have it, a couple of tips to lighten the load of back to school season. School brings with it a lot of challenges, and it’s easy to get weighed down by the stress and pressure, but make sure you appreciate the more fun aspects too: seeing friends, learning new things in subjects you enjoy, and getting involved in extra-curricular activities that interest you. It’s the little things that make it worth it, so make the most of every day, and good luck for the 2018 school year!