Back to School Anxiety in a COVID-19 World: Tips and Tricks

by Delanee Ensley


Back to school anxiety has always been an issue, but now so more than ever during COVID-19.



Most students last Fall got ready for school by charging their computers and making sure their cameras were turned on. However, with vaccinations, schools are being reopened, leading to student’s increased anxiety. Back to school anxiety is not a new concept; in fact, it’s a growing issue. There is always the fear of fitting in and making new friends, but when you haven’t been in the halls of a high school for over a year, there is a new kind of pressure.


Being a teenager is a challenge; everybody is trying to find themselves and fit into their newfound personalities. Every day is a new moment to show those around you who you are, but with the gap in the school year, everybody is coming back different. This difference might be a change in looks, personality, or a mixture of all of it. It’s terrifying to pull off the mask and show everyone what’s underneath. This anxiety pulls teens further within themselves and creates fear and panic at the thought of putting themselves on the line. Here are tips and tricks to help you feel empowered and take the school year by storm:


Journaling

Writing about your day every day might seem like a cliche, but it truly helps to allow yourself to get it all out. This creative outlet allows you to write about your feelings and build an escape from the outside world.


Planner

Writing in a planner helps alleviate budding anxiety by creating a schedule. Schedules and routines are very important to keep mental health on point. By keeping a planner, you allow yourself to keep thoughts and plans scheduled without forgetting the one last thing on the to-do list.


Meditation and Yoga

Relaxation is an important step to keeping your mind healthy. Focusing too much on the negatives can send you into a downward spiral, but exercise and deep breathing can give you the endorphins you need to take the world by storm.


Limiting Screen Time

Instead of checking Instagram or TikTok before bed, try putting down the phone and turning off the TV. Blue light can affect your sleep habits and cause exhaustion the next day, making you feel irritable and anxious. Instead of electronics, try reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle.


Snacking

Between classes, your energy might start to take a dive. To counteract this effect, try packing a healthy snack like a protein bar or trail mix. Snacks like this can keep your energy up and make you feel refreshed.


Counseling

Talking to someone is super helpful! Your school counselors are there to help you in many ways. If your class load is keeping you down, try talking to them about some extra help or a lighter class load. We all know applying to colleges is stressful, but they can help you figure out what school is the right fit for you. Finally, they are able to talk you through some of your mental health struggles, including seeing a professional if need be.


These tips and tricks are just a small list of things to help you keep stress-free this school year. Anxiety is never something to take lightly, so never be afraid to reach out for help. Parents, teachers, and friends are important people in your life to keep you grounded. Keeping connected to your loved ones is one of the most important things you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Being back in the classroom can be difficult, but it’s important to form long-lasting relationships that can help you through it.

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