After a relaxing summer away from school, it can be nice to begin looking forward to the new school year and the new challenges that lay ahead. However, if this feeling of excitement is replaced by a strong feeling of anxiety and doubt, the next week or so can feel like one big nightmare.
Whether you are a pupil, teacher, or someone supporting these people – It’s important to try and deal with these feelings early, before they begin to affect school life and possibly the quality of education or job progress.
The Ajuda team have put together some tips to cope with this feeling of anxiety in the hope that we can support anyone struggling at the moment. If you feel your child may be suffering from back to school anxiety, give some of these strategies a try.
Talk over the concerns
Try to have an open conversation with them about what it is that’s causing the worry. You could perhaps encourage them to write them out into a list. Visually reading the problems can help to break them down and sometimes help them to see that there aren’t that many worries in the first place. Let them know that they can come back to you at any time if they feel worried or anxious, and you’ll always have time to sit and talk to them about it.
Plan how to overcome these if possible
When you are consumed with anxiety, it can be difficult to see a way out of the situation and things can seem hopeless. You can support the person by helping them go through their concerns and try to find solutions to some. If they are worried about struggling to make friends, what ways could they start a conversation? If they’re worried about getting lost or missing the bus, could they call anyone for help or find an alternative route?
Focus on the positives
Just like the list of worries, you could also encourage them to share the things they will look forward to about going back to school. They may have friends they haven’t seen over the holidays, or a favourite piece of playground equipment that’s only available on the school grounds. The list can help to relieve some anxiety and replace it with excitement.
- Go through some calming techniques
If you are concerned that the anxiety and stress could become overwhelming for them during school, go through some techniques that can help to relieve anxiety. Some people who regularly deal with anxiety recommend strategies such as deep breathing, or making a list of all the things in a room of a particular colour. These can help to control breathing and focus their mind on something other than the difficult situation.
If you’d like to learn more about supporting someone with anxiety, in less than 6 week’s time Ajuda will be hosting our first Talking Mental Health National Conference at Cardiff City Stadium on October 10th. The day will include inspiring stories from people who have lived with and overcome their mental health struggles, along with talks from charities and professionals involved in Mental Health Awareness.
If you’d like to join us on the day to learn more about mental health and tips on wellbeing, please order a ticket here.