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Worried about the return to school?

09 October 2020 by

You’re about to return to school, maybe you have missed lots of things about school like your friends, school staff, or you just want to see something different from your 5km bubble; but you feel nervous, worried or even scared and you’re not sure why. This could be anxiety – a normal response we have that helps keep us safe in all sorts of situations, like when we experience change.

The anxiety you may have around returning to school might make you feel, think and do certain things. You may feel restless, stressed, breathless, tight in the chest, shaky and you may even begin to panic. You may worry and think things like ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I just want to stay home’, ‘what if no one talks to me?’, ‘I’m probably going to fail.’ You may even look for ways to avoid returning to school or start to avoid doing school work. While this can be a normal response to the transition back to being on campus, there are some things you can do to make it easier.

  • Be prepared for the return. Try and keep up with your work and maintain some connections with friends. In the week before, make sure you have everything you need: Your bag ready; uniform ready; get back into routine with sleep and recreation.
  • Use positive, accurate self-talk to challenge the negative thinking that may be happening. Say things like, ‘I have done this before, I can do it again!’ or ‘I’ve got this!’
  • The mind is powerful and so it can be helpful to imagine yourself doing well on your first day. Step through your predicted routine and see yourself experiencing it in a positive manner.
  • Use the tools you have to calm your mind and body before arriving, and during the day. Mindfulness and deep breathing are really helpful and there are lots of good apps too. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be.
  • Talk to trusted adults about your concerns. They can support you with the above steps and may have some other really good ideas to help you cope.
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