Back to School Blues
Don’t worry, instead prepare. Enjoy the holidays while you can until the last minute!
As the end of the summer holidays draws ever nearer many students (and teachers!) will be feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Whether starting a new year group or a new school entirely it’s normal to feel apprehensive about new things. Will my teachers be kind? Will the work be too difficult? Will I be in the same class as my friends? These are some of the questions that may be whirling around your head leading to worry and a sense of dread. However, a few simple techniques can help to ease these negative thoughts/feelings and instead help you feel positive about the new year ahead.
Ask yourself: What is the worst, best and most likely case scenario?
Consider carefully what it is you are worried about then think about and write down the answers to the following:
What is the worst thing that could happen?
What is the best thing that could happen?
What is most likely to happen?
Once you realise the worse case scenario is very unlikely to happen you can focus on the most likely situation which is usually absolutely fine.
The most likely situation, however, may include something that makes you feel anxious, such as starting a new school with no one you know. Spend some time thinking about what that may look like and what you are going to do. Spend a few minutes each day imagining yourself in your new school feeling calm, focused and confident then when the day comes your brain will remember these positive feelings and you will feel much better.
Instead of worrying about what is out of your control put your energy into what you can control
Maybe you are worried about back to school assessments, especially if you haven’t picked up a book or a pencil all summer. Worrying about what is outside of our control is pointless, however many of us find ourselves doing this regularly. Instead, start to make a plan to get yourself feeling ready. If you are worried about a test, look over your old notes from last year and revise anything that you feel less confident in. Adjust your holiday routine now, get your body used to waking up earlier again so that you don’t feel so tired when you go back to school. Eat healthily and exercise, restart the healthy habits again that may have been lost over the summer.
Try to stay in the present
Ask yourself ‘Am I feeling good right now?’. The answer is most likely ‘YES’. We spend so much of our time worrying about an imagined future we forget to enjoy this moment. This moment is your life. Don’t waste it worrying about things that are out of your control, instead enjoy this present moment and use it to benefit you in some capacity. I love this Mark Twain quote and think of it often during times of worry.
“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of them actually happened’
Mindfulness is a great way to keep yourself in the present mpoment while separating yourself from the thoughts in your head, however, simply checking in with yourself and pulling yourself back into the present moment is an excellent way to combat anxiety, worry, fear, dread and any other negative feelings you may be suffering.
So do you really want to spend the last precious moments of the summer holidays worrying about going back to school? Or would you prefer to spend this time doing something you enjoy or something that is important to you? Chances are you are going to have a great day when you go back to school and by lunchtime all those negative feelings would have disappeared, by hometime at the latest.
“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you ever have”