Back to School Anxiety Tips | Teens Helping Teens
Wow! School is right around the corner, which means it is time to start working on how to combat our anxiety. I am a teenager, and I know the anxieties that simply come with being a teen. Today I am going to give you my secret tips when it comes to “Back to School Anxiety”, and I also am going to give you my FREE Anxiety & Stress School Supply List! You will be completely prepared in no time!
Before School Year Starts
There are a few things I have always done before the actual school year even starts that really help my anxiety level begin to decrease.
Communication with Staff
We all have different needs, and it is impossible for our teachers to know what those needs are unless they are told. If possible, try to schedule a short meeting with your teachers during the last week of summer. Let them know what makes you anxious and what keeps you calm. That gives them a better opportunity at making you feel comfortable in their classroom. This step has helped me so much, but I will say that you need to be prepared to start advocating for yourself. My teachers appreciated when I was able to explain my concerns to them rather than having someone else explain them for me. It takes time to build up that confidence, so if you need somebody to help you explain, that’s totally fine. Any kind of communication is better than none.
Emergency kits or our “must-haves” kit should be ready BEFORE your school year starts. First off, emergency kits are meant for any little emergency you may have at school, and that might be different depending on who you are. Someone might want a nail file in their kit, while someone else may want bandaids. Decide what you need in your kit, and make sure it is completely ready and packed in your backpack before you go to school on your first day. The reason why this is so important is because this kit brings peace of mind. If you know your anxieties, this kit can save you in many ways. If you are anxious about sweating during gym class, then pack a mini deodorant in your kit. If you are anxious about your phone dying, then bring a charger. I think you get my point. Your kit should be designed for you and your needs. *For a full list of school supply essentials that help ease anxiety, there is a downloadable list below. This list will not just be for an emergency kit, but also for your backpack as well.
Planning keeps my mind clear and on-top of things. Writing down my homework in a planner immediately eases my anxiety because I don’t have to remember everything. Forgetfulness happens, but I don’t have to worry about that if I have a planner. A planner is not just for homework and appointments, though. You can use it for to-do lists, goal setting and tracking, and positive affirmations. Have your planner handy on your first day of school.
Who doesn’t love music? Create an anxiety playlist that really represents you. Have it ready for you to listen to during breaks at school or in class (if allowed). Music takes me to a different place and makes me feel like it’s not so bad being at school. Remember to include happy songs and calmer songs because our moods don’t always jump to happy right away. Start your playlist with songs that represent your anxious feelings, and end your playlist with some more upbeat songs. That is just my recommendation.
After School Year Starts
Your anxiety prep is done, but you MUST maintain that work you put in before the school year started.
Continue to work with your teachers and school staff, so that they know how you are doing. If changes need to be made (switch seating positions, etc.), let them know. If you are comfortable with how things are going in their classrooms, tell them. Without communication, it is just a guessing game.
Utilize Your Strategies
You have amazing coping skills. It is a matter of finding them and using them. Use your fidget toys if you have them, and drink water to stay hydrated. I get very anxious when I do not have water with me, so I bring my own refillable bottle with me everywhere I go. School is no different, and it can be a potential distraction too. Ask your teacher if you can refill your water bottle. It is a great mini break from the classroom.
All About Friends
Friends can be tricky. I would say there are two good ways to go when it comes to friend-making. The first way is to find people you already know and stick with them. The second way is to make completely new friends. Both options are great, and you might have a bit of both ways in your life. I recommend making friends with people who look just as anxious as you. You are in the same boat and might relate to each other. I also recommend hanging around people who make you feel good about yourself. We don’t want toxic energy, and we don’t need negativity. It is unnecessary, and it may just be better to be patient while finding the right people for you.
Ask for Help
Do not be stubborn. If you want to succeed, recognize your strengths and your weaknesses. Asking for help is a step forward (a strength not a weakness).
Finding a Place Where You Fit
School may not be the most fun place for you to be. Here are some places you might find to be more enjoyable.
Online Community Options
I have joined a few online communities where I feel accepted. It is my safe place when I am not at school. For those of us who don’t feel welcome at school or just don’t “fit in”, it might be good to try joining a fan group or online community of some sort. It provides us with a sense of purpose and can be a reward for making it through the school day. I must remind you that online communities are ONLINE, so be careful who you are interacting with and take necessary precautions. It is at your own risk, but it may be worth a try.
BRAIN XP Community
Of course, I have to conclude with the online community that I created for those of us who are into mental health, music, and lifestyle. BRAIN XP is on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It is designed to be a safe space for struggling teens, but please keep in mind again that this community is ONLINE.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
FREE ANXIETY & STRESS SCHOOL SUPPLY LIST
This list is the key to navigating through high school! Download now!