Tips on Beating Back-to-School Anxiety
Going back to school when a new semester starts, especially after a long summer break, might be a little nervous. We all tend to adjust as time goes by, so you should not worry that the whole semester will be as hard as its beginning. However, there are some things you can do to make the transition to a new study routine as quickly and easily as possible and avoid excessive stress.
Why Does Anxiety Occur?
Whenever we face changes in our everyday routine, our brain has to get used to them, and it’s not always a seamless process. After a long time with no homework, no assignment deadlines, and lots of free time, we have to go back to our campuses and deal with various challenges that our colleges prepare for us. It’s no surprise that many college students (studies say up to 40%) deal with anxiety disorder and even depression. This number rises each year because of many reasons, such as:
- The rise of student loans sums
- Wrong major pick
- The lack of job opportunities available for students
- The pandemic and difficulties caused by it
The pandemic brought a lot of changes to the education system. It means that many learning institutions had to adjust to new rules, which significantly influenced students and their lives on/off-campus. Many changes happen at the beginning of a new semester or even right in the middle of it, which also affects students’ mental health.
Many students also face financial difficulties because of the pandemic and the lack of open vacancies on the market. This situation doesn’t make studying any easier and only increases stress levels among students, resulting in:
- Bad memory
- Difficulties with concentration
We have found a few tips for you on how to beat back-to-college anxiety and improve your mental health throughout this tough yet exciting period. Let’s get started.
Create a Schedule and Make Plans
In order to avoid feeling misplaced or torn away from college life, you should definitely check for the upcoming events that you would like to attend and include them into your schedule for the next few months. Don’t view it as an obligation to socialize, though – you should not force yourself to attend these places. However, making plans for a month or two will boost your optimism as it makes unclear future less chaotic and unexpected. Many people find detailed weekly and daily plans as an instrument to calm down when there are too many new things and people around. In its turn creating a such a plan with important events included will remind you of great opportunity to relax and have fun in the middle of a stressful beginning of a new semester. You might probably regret later not going to that welcoming party, so be sure to put it on your list of at least considered to be attended events.
Take Care of Yourself
Many people admit that anxiety makes them neglect self-care as a part of their daily routine. It’s not uncommon for people who are stressed to forget about taking a shower or eating regular healthy meals. If you feel like you don’t do enough for yourself because of your anxiety or might do it in the future, put self-care on your list of daily priorities. Sometimes you need a reminder such as “take a shower before bed,” even if it sounds silly. Believe us; there is nothing silly if it works for you.
You might find workouts a great stress-reliever. Make sure you check which options you have, such as sports clubs, yoga sessions, or a gym near the campus. Many colleges also have health programs available for their students, which might give you an opportunity to be involved in a sports life right on your campus.
Eating healthy meals as well as having a good sleep is the basis of healthy life. Unfortunately, many students live on instant noodles and fast food, snacks, chocolate bars, and sodas. You can plan your grocery purchases ahead, writing down a list of healthy products, to find out that eating healthy isn’t that expensive as it seems to be at first glance. Even if you don’t have all necessities to cook while you are living in a dorm room, there are plenty of healthy recipes available for you to master.
Find Your Helper
There are multiple techniques that help people beat their anxiety. The problem is – you never know what helps you until you try it. Here are a few things that you should try:
- Start a diary to organize your thoughts. Many people use dairy as an instrument that helps organize thoughts, review them and eliminate ones that are destructive or obsessive. In other words, diaries can help “declutter” your head and move forward.
- Try calming breathing techniques.
- Talk to a psychologist online.
- Find a new hobby that will distract you from anxious thoughts.
- Try meditation, yoga, or aromatherapy.
- Find an online buddy who you can talk to. The trick is to find a person who is far from you and your setting. This way, you will talk less about people who you study with or college classes that you attend – you will distract a little from your daily life, and your anxiety will eventually decrease.
The best decision will also be to communicate with mental health service at your learning institution or talk to a specialist outside of your campus. They can help you with your problems with professional and effective advice.