Back to school can be a time of excitement and anticipation, but it can also be a time of stress and anxiety. For students who are struggling with their mental health, the transition back to school can be especially challenging.
Back to School Mental Health Tips for Students
Here are some tips for maintaining good mental health during back to school:
- Talk about your feelings. It's important to talk about your feelings, both good and bad. If you're feeling stressed or anxious about school, talk to a trusted adult, such as a parent, teacher, counselor, or friend. Talking about your feelings can help you to feel better and to develop coping mechanisms.
- Set realistic expectations. It's important to remember that everyone adjusts to change at their own pace. Don't expect to be back to your old self overnight. Give yourself time to adjust to the new schedule and workload.
- Get organized. Having a plan can help reduce stress and anxiety. Make a list of your assignments and due dates, and create a study schedule that works for you.
- Take breaks. It's important to take breaks throughout the day, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed. Get up and move around, or take a few minutes to relax and clear your head.
- Get enough sleep. When you're well-rested, you're better able to cope with stress and anxiety. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating a healthy diet can help improve your mood and energy levels. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall mental health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Seek professional help if needed. If you're struggling to cope with back to school stress and anxiety, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can teach you coping mechanisms and help you to develop a plan for managing your mental health.
Remember, you're not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help. If you're struggling, please reach out for help.
Back to School Mental Health Tips for Parents
Here are some additional tips for parents:
- Talk to your child about their feelings. Ask your child how they're feeling about going back to school. Be a supportive listener and let them know that you're there for them.
- Help your child get organized. Go through your child's school supplies and make sure they have everything they need. Help them to create a weekly schedule and to set realistic goals for themselves.
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Encourage your child to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
- Make sure your child eats a healthy diet. Pack your child healthy lunches and snacks and avoid sugary drinks and processed foods.
- Encourage your child to exercise regularly. Help your child to find an activity they enjoy, such as playing sports, dancing, or hiking.
- Be patient and understanding. Back to school can be a stressful time for kids, so be patient with them and give them some extra support.
If you're concerned about your child's mental health, talk to their doctor or a mental health professional. There is help available, and you don't have to go through this alone.
Mental Health Resources
Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): https://www.nami.org/
- The American Psychological Association (APA): https://www.apa.org/
- The Jed Foundation: https://www.jedfoundation.org/
- The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/