Managing Stress When Returning to School

As summer time starts to come to a close, many students are beginning to dread the start of the upcoming school year. Whether you are worried about starting at a new school, managing heavy workloads, or simply waking up early again, it is not uncommon for students to feel stressed about going back to school.

What is Stress?

Stress is the physical and mental response to worry caused by an external event, such as an upcoming test or an argument with a friend. Typically, stress will go away after the external event causing the stress has ended. Some physical and mental signs of stress include:

  • Feeling irritable or impatient
  • Feeling unmotivated
  • Trouble sleeping or oversleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or other aches and pains
  • Changes in appetite
  • High blood pressure

Techniques to Manage Stress

Feeling stressed about school can feel particularly challenging as stressors caused by school, such as school work, are ongoing throughout the school year. Luckily, there are a variety of techniques to help manage stress as we approach the start of the new school year.

  • Make sure to get plenty of sleep;
    Feeling well-rested allows you to think more clearly and perform better in school.
  • Try journaling;
    Although keeping a journal is not for everyone, it can be a useful technique to express your feelings and help pinpoint why you are feeling stressed.
  • Try meditation or mindfulness activities;
    Meditation and mindfulness activities are helpful techniques to calm your mind and manage your stress through relaxation.
  • Exercise regularly;
    While being beneficial for your physical health, regular exercise can also be an effective outlet for feelings of stress.
  • Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet;
    It is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to provide your body with the energy it needs to manage stressful events.
  • Remember to make time for self-care;
    Self-care can be expressed in a variety of ways, such as reading a good book or putting on a face mask before bed. Taking time to treat yourself can aid in putting your mind at ease.
  • Minimize caffeine consumption;
    Some people can find caffeine consumption to worsen stress-related symptoms, so it may be worth avoiding caffeinated beverages.
  • Remember to take to friends or family to get help for managing your stress;
    Friends or family can be helpful sources of support, especially at times when your stress levels are high.

Although school can be a major source of stress for students, it is important to remember that this part of life is not forever, and there are ways to combat and minimize feelings of stress that accompany the start of the new school year.