With most kids starting school this week, I thought it would be helpful to review a few things that can help to deal with school stress.

1. Accept Anxiety as a Good Thing

Our world has done a pretty good job at making us believe that anxiety is a bad thing. Certainly, left unchecked, anxiety can be debilitating but at it is core we need it! Make the decision now to act on the worry about your classes by not procrastinating and instead working to resolve the worry. For example, the more you study, the more confident you will be in being able to know the answers and your anxiety will decrease. So, make sure you use your anxiety to motivate you!

2. Practice Good Time Management

Creating a basic structure for your time can go a long way in decreasing stress. Spending that one hour a day every day after school to complete homework and study for the next exam will help you avoid cramming as well as help you to understand and retain what is happening in the classroom day to day. Create what behavioralists call bundling. You always get a snack after school, so simply bundle that activity with completing your homework. Build structure into your other activities like how much screen time you have in a day and what time you will be in bed.

3. Limit Distractions

Turn off your phone or put it in a different room so you aren’t distracted by social media or a game you have been playing when you need to be getting work done. When you go to bed, don’t take your phone with you. Your bed is for sleeping, not for Instagram. ‘

4. Exercise and Sleep

Hopefully you are involving yourself in extracurricular activities that will help you get some exercise. If not, make sure you structure in some time to take care of yourself. This goes a long way in building self-confidence as well! Commit to getting a solid night’s sleep. Keep a nightly routine and you will find your body responding well and sleep occurring easily.

5. Socialize

One of the best things about starting school again is being around friends again. Involve yourself in in-school and extracurricular activities that will surround yourself with people that have similar goals and interests as you. This will give you a sense of belonging and support and help decrease being burned out in the school setting.

There are certainly many other great stress reducers in your life you can use. Meditation, time in nature, using music or art, good diet, good hygiene etc. to name a few. Choosing to accept anxiety as a good motivating factor in our life as well as creating good plans for self-care is the best way to reduce stress and set ourselves up for success. Parents, set a good example for your kids by following these same examples! You are about to have an amazing year! If stress and anxiety become too much to handle, you are not alone. We can help you take control again.

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