Does going back to school have to be scary?

Omni and Fatima

Back-to-School-and-Child-Anxiety

For some of us the arrival of September can really bring along mixed feelings. Excitement to see new friends, sadness that summer is over and maybe even a little dread about all the work that awaits us at school. But for some, it is more than that.

We have anxious thoughts and feelings that make going back to school feel unbearable.  And guess what? Anxious feelings are totally normal and even expected during times of transition or change. Before the first day of school, you may even get headaches or stomach pains, withdraw, and become irritable. And this happens to so many people (even teachers, if you can believe it)! Some common worries include: Who will be my new teacher? What if my new teacher is mean? Will any of my friends be in my class? Will I fit in? Are my clothes OK? Will I look stupid? Who will I sit with at lunch? What if I miss the bus? What if I can’t understand the new schoolwork? Any of these sound familiar? What are your back-to school worries?

So what should we do about them? Below are four great tips you  can use to deal with back-to-school worries:

1. Look after the basics. Nobody copes well when they are tired or hungry. Sometimes when we are worried we forget to eat, don’t feel hungry, and don’t get enough sleep. So make sure that you get enough water and healthy snacks to eat during the day and go to bed at a good time each night so that you get at least 8 hours of sleep.

2. Share your fears with someone that you trust.Let someone in your family or a close friend know what is making you feel worried. Maybe even set up a regular time to talk with this person each day leading up to school. Having someone encourage us through our fears can definitely help.

3. Problem-solve and plan! Often when you tell people your worries they say things like“Don’t worry!” or “Everything will be fine!” Although they might be trying to be helpful, instead ask them for helpful ways to solve your problem. For example, “If (the worst) happens, what could you do?” or “Let’s think of some ways you could handle that situation.” This gives you the opportunity to coach yourself on how to cope with both real and imagined scary situations.

4. Focus on the positive. Try and re-direct your attention away from the worries, and towards the positives. Ask yourself, “What are three things that I am  excited about on your first day of school?” Even if it is only something small, giving yourself things to look forward to can totally help you get rid of your worries.

Source: Anxiety BC
Image Source: Focused365

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