How to Manage Back to School Anxiety This Fall
Updated: Aug 28
Tips for Managing Anxiety When Going Back to School
It's no secret that returning to school following summer break is easier on some students than others. Fortunately, the tips contained in the article can make managing anxiety caused by going back to school a little easier.
Anxiety is something almost everyone deals with to one degree or another.
In fact, about 20% of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. This can make it extremely challenging to make it through the day at work or school, especially when attempting to be as happy and productive as possible.
As we approach the end of summer and changing seasons, people are returning to school. It's important for students to understand how to manage their back-to-school anxiety. Fortunately, this article can help.
Here we take a look at common symptoms of anxiety and offer tips for managing anxiety. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Anxiety?
Let's start by defining anxiety. After all, it's one of the most common types of mental health problems.
Anxiety can be caused by almost anything. It's an internal experience that makes it hard for a person to feel confident and happy. Think of it as inner turmoil that results from stressful situations or the thought of stressful situations.
The key is to understand that anxiety is a product of the mind and is often based purely on the individual's perception of reality rather than on actual reality.
For example, a young adults might experience a sense of anxiety because they don't feel like they fit in with the rest of the people in their classes. This often results in severe anxiety or depression.
The Common Symptoms of Anxiety
There are a number of common symptoms of anxiety that parents should watch for, especially as students begin returning to school.
These include trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, lack of desire to spend time with friends, or a sudden inability to concentrate in class or at home.
Sometimes these symptoms aren't obvious unless friends and family members pay close attention and engage them in conversation, asking about their day and talking about things they enjoy.
The key is to be aware that older students are often embarrassed by what they're feeling and will thus attempt to ignore the problem, or at least avoid talking about it. That's why you need to watch for changes in behavior so that you can address their potential anxiety problems without causing them to shut down.
Anxiety In Young Adults
Why do young adults experience anxiety?
Well, for starters, they are human. They are also young enough to have limited life experience, so they don't yet understand how to cope with common situations that typically cause stress.
For example, a university environment can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to dealing with social pressures, the pressure to get good grades, and coping with introversion and other personality issues they don't understand.
They might not have the same financial pressures or responsibilities as those trying to support families while pursuing higher education, and they still have plenty going on in their lives that can easily make them feel overwhelmed.
After all, most adult students, even younger adults, have to work at least part-time to afford a quality education. This type of schedule can take a toll on a person's mental well-being, regardless of their age.
Anxiety In Older Students
Going back to school in the fall can be especially stressful for older students with children as well.
There are only so many hours in the day, and parents have enough on their plates between the uncertainty of job security and normal parenting responsibilities.
The stress you feel about kids growing up can be compounded by work anxiety as you struggle to succeed in your career while trying to be a good parent. Add to this the pressure of demanding coursework, and it can be enough to make you want to give up.
It's important for adult parents of young children to acknowledge that each of these feelings is perfectly normal. But that doesn't mean you need to suffer. That's why you should learn some basic coping tips for reducing the impact of anxiety.
Tips for Coping With Anxiety
Adults who are going back to school can learn simple exercises for living with anxiety. Here are a few of the best ways to minimize the symptoms of anxiety and stress in your everyday life.
1. The Power of a Positive Attitude
Make an effort to remain positive. This can help even when you don't feel very positive at all. It's important to remember that the human mind tends to believe whatever it's told, so get in the habit of telling yourself positive things and watch how your outlook on the world starts to change for the better.
This might seem silly, but it really is an effective tool for reducing anxiety.
2. Assure Your Student that They Aren't Alone
When talking to someone who has recently gone back to school while trying to maintain a full-time job, let them know that they aren't alone. Make it clear that you're always there for them, even if they just need to vent about things that are bothering them.
3. Learn to Meditate
Meditation is a powerful mental health tool that can be used by students of all ages. This is a simple yet effective exercise that helps you recognize anxious thoughts are nothing more than the product of a restless mind. It can also be very useful in reducing high blood pressure and promoting a feeling of overall well-being.
4. Talk to a Mental Health Professional
Investing in psychotherapy is one of the smartest decisions you'll ever make. No matter if you prefer to speak with a mental health professional alone or with a loved one, receiving objective feedback can be enormously helpful for reducing anxiety.
Please contact us today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our anxiety management specialists.
Related Blog - 10 Tips to Enjoy a Stress and Anxiety Free Holiday Season
Judy is the founder and clinical director of Your Story Counselling Services, A private practice clinic in Vaughan Ontario servicing individuals, couples, and families across the Greater Toronto Area. As a Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor, Judy is passionate about creating change and making mental health services more safe and accessible to the public. Judy believes in working collaboratively with others so that they can get back to themselves and their preferred way of life and living.
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