Returning to school in September can be a stressful time in normal circumstances. This year and since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic we can only expect heightened anxiety not just in pupils, but teachers, parents and even grand-parents.
With ongoing changes and continuing updates to rules and regulations things are looking a little unstable and definitely far from the norm. So what can we do to support each other and get through these uncertain times reducing back to school anxiety?
- Get worries out in the open. Bottling things up only makes them worse. Talk about how you are feeling and any concerns you may have. You are not alone with these thoughts, most of your friends will more than likely be experiencing the same emotions.
- Discus and focus on the advantages of going back to school like meeting up with old friends, how routine is good for your mental health and learning new things
- Set a new routine. Routines are a comfort to young and old. Things may not be the same as they were pre lockdown but on the whole it only takes a few days to get into the swing of things and put a new pattern in place. It should get easier after the first few days.
- Be prepared. Make sure you have everything you need ready in advance and lessen first day anxiety by meeting up with with a friend and going together.
- The day before you go back have a practice run. Get up at the set time, have a balanced breakfast and get washed and dressed. Just running through the routine will break you back into the swing of things gently. It will also remind you on how long it takes to get yourself ready without rushing and causing more stress.
Remember that anxiety is a normal reaction and can be a huge benefit to us when we need to respond to danger. So rather than read the signs as being under threat, think of them as helping you out and preparing your body and mind for action.
If you feel you need more support and would like to chat to one of our trained volunteers for youths you can give us a call on our Youth Helpline: 0330 606 1174