Summer is gone for good and we are back to school again. For every student, regardless of their level and grade, it is normal to be nervous on the first day of classes, to say nothing about teachers and parents. According to the studies, however, there are over 15 million students who go through this with full-blown anxiety.
Since the beginning of another academic year can trigger anxiety and stress in students with a more sensitive disposition, we thought you might find some tips to reduce the back-to-school stress useful. To save you panic at the end of the semester when you scream internally: “I should pay someone to write my research paper or I’m screwed!” try these right now.
Have plenty of sleep
Keeping nervousness, anxiety, and stress down is a work in itself since everyone around you will be struggling with the same infectious feelings. Fighting this emotional contagion off can be tiring. Sleep is essential for anyone to have proper cognitive power and be able to learn. It is also necessary for physical and mental health.
Regardless of whether the school has begun or not, you should create a stable sleeping habit. It is a good idea to start slipping into your school routine beforehand, at least two weeks before the beginning of the academic year. This way you will have time to adjust to school-appropriate curfew little by little, without dramatic changes from night-owl to early-bird lifestyle.
Establish a routine
Having regular habits saves your mental capacity – you don’t think about what you do next. Instead, you go on automatic. This also gives you a sense of security and can help to minimize stress. Routine is comforting because it’s predictable and stable – it gives you structure, something to rely on.
Just as it is with your sleeping schedule, the earlier you start building your routine, the better. Then, come the big day, you will be ready. Also, you can start early reading on the academic subject so you know what to expect and get your brain on the right gear at the start of the academic year.
Curb the fear of the new
Being scared of the unknown can push you down the spiral of anxiety. The beginning of a new academic year is the perfect case in point, especially, if you change school as well – starting high school or going off to college. New environment, new professors, new classmates, new curriculum, and other significant factors that will make up your academic year can pile up and overwhelm.
If possible, go on tour to your new school before the year starts. Get to know your new classmates. Meet your professors and take this chance to make a good first impression on them. In this way, you can minimize your nervousness and gradually adapt to your new school environment.
Keep in mind that the beginning of a new academic year is always a bit challenging and you should not see it as a bad thing. Instead, try to get in touch with your adventurous side and enjoy the ride. Don’t feel threatened by all the things that might happen during your first day of school – just go with it.
Remember, what you think is what you attract to happen. If you fear that you will look clumsy and will make a show of yourself, I am pretty sure than that chances of dropping your bag and spilling things all over the floor are higher because of your trembling hands. Stay positive and don’t think about it. If something like this happens – just laugh it off and use a conversation starter with a passerby.
Listen to your favorite music
Music has a great influence on our mood and can be used strategically as a form of therapy. Listening to loud music for extended periods of time is not healthy but it can help with your anxiety, especially if you sing along – you just scream all your worries away. If you feel tense at the start of the academic year, turn on the music of your choice, focus, and listen.
This is the simplest form of meditation that you can practice everywhere on campus or while commuting. Remember to take care of your ears, otherwise, you risk getting even more stressed or worse – causing lasting damage to your hearing.
Drink hot beverages
A bowl of hot soup or hot tea can have an instant positive effect on your body and mind. The feeling of warmth coming from the inside is calming and reassuring. Just make sure it isn’t burning-lava-hot. Also, easy on the caffeine. Better choose herbal tea with a relaxing aroma – like chamomile, thyme, lavender, lemongrass. Those are also good just before bed. This way it will be easier to doze off and have sound sleep to be well-rested and ready to face the new day.
Choose your favorite de-stressing technique
Remember, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to finding your emotional balance. There are many practices that you can employ to manage your anxiety and stress: positive affirmations (or prayer if you are religious), visualization, yoga, deep breathing, a 10-minute walk, favorite sports, and other things. Try them and choose whichever works best for you.