When you're looking down the road at another school year, fast approaching, you may be experiencing anxiety. For those of us with more anxious minds, our thoughts start spinning on to "what else can I do, what's coming next, what do I have to worry about, what is going to go wrong this year..."
So, here are some tips for starting the school year right.
1. Evaluate what went well last year and areas for improvement
Create a plan around this. If you found yourself becoming stressed with certain types of assignments (maybe essays were harder to finish than math worksheets), make sure you build in extra time to complete these. Each year is an opportunity to learn and grow.
2. The morning routine
I also recommend building in a morning routine that helps you get out of the door on time, without rushing to grab the things you need. It you're someone who responds well to lots of planning, it can be helpful to set your outfit up the morning before and prepare your lunch. Many people scramble to get out the door on time - which is not the most relaxing, organized way to start your day, and can set you up for stress for the remainder of the day.
3. What's your attitude?
Dealing with the end of summer blues is all about perspective. Yes, the culture of highschool and college becomes more restrictive during the fall/winter compared to summer, and assignments become more frequent. But the upshot is your productivity increases as well. You may even find yourself adding on extra tasks because its easier to schedule these projects in due to your increased productivity.
4. Using your planner (paper or phone)
I also recommend that people use their calendar or planner to mark down exciting things coming up, such as birthdays, holidays, new tv shows starting, even something as simple as scheduling in a new event every few weeks. The planning and anticipation are great ways to counteract the stress of everything else.
5. Stress much?
And if you know that fall consistently leads to an uptick in stress for you, consider your favorite and most helpful stress management strategies. Build these into your schedule as well, such as setting up time to sign up for a weekly yoga class on campus, going on walks with friends, or blocking off 5 hours every Saturday for no homework, at all.
Curious to hear more? Start of the school year causing a ton of stress for you or your teen? Are you worried about your worrying about your worries? I specialize in anxiety and anger management, and tend to work with teens and college students who suffer from really high expectations of themselves. My office is located in Clayton, MO. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org