Back to School Stress Management

Back to School Stress Management

Stress affects anyone and everyone at one point or another in life, and it does not discriminate against age or where one may be at with their life situation. The beginning of the school year can be an especially stressful time for parents and particularly students, no matter what grade they are going into. They might be starting at a new school, taking more challenging classes, or worried about making new friends – and the stress levels might be exceptionally higher now after the unprecedented year that students everywhere had to face last year with the pandemic. It’s typical to feel some degree of nerves and stress before the school year officially begins, but if it is truly overwhelming and interfering with everyday life and responsibilities, it is a good idea to be proactive about this back-to-school stress and to take measures that will help mitigate it so that the upcoming school year will be as stress-free as possible and approached with a positive mindset.


Managing Stress as a Student

It is completely valid to feel stress as a student, and it is important to remember that. Sometimes it is easy to forget just how stressful the school years were once they’re over, so you might even feel like you do not have anyone that fully understands exactly how you feel. There are always ways to manage your stress and to avoid letting it take over, though everyone is different and will require unique methods that work for their individual needs. A lot of the time, school-related stress has to do with juggling the workload, the expectations to get good grades, and participating in extracurricular activities. Stress can get to the point where it becomes crippling and where it makes doing the simplest things impossible, but if you take preemptive measures to manage any stress that is present, you will be setting yourself up for a highly successful school year.

Stick to a Routine

When attending school, days are full of structure and routine for a reason, with the aim to make everything run as smoothly as possible and to set everyone up to thrive. Finding a good routine that suits you outside of school hours, such as waking up at a certain time, eating breakfast, having time set aside after school to focus on homework and studying, and a sticking with nighttime ritual that helps you relax after a busy day will put you in an appropriate rhythm that will aid in warding off additional stress that might arise from the new school year.

Plan as Much as Possible

Whether or not you consider yourself to be an organized person that rarely procrastinates, if you’re dealing with back-to-school stress, it’s a sensible idea to really get in the habit of planning whenever and wherever you can and to stay organized from the start. Staying organized will ensure you stay ahead on all the necessary work, which in turn will ward off additional stress. If you have after school activities to attend like practice for a sport or club meetings, take them into account and plan around them so you don’t end up overwhelmed with other responsibilities. Planning ahead and staying organized will set you up to succeed and will help you so much later in life, as well.

Find a Fun or Relaxing Hobby

Something that is so important to include within your life no matter what is allotted time to unwind and have fun, especially since you’re still young and in school. If you already have a favorite hobby that you go to whenever you feel stress creeping in, then great! If not, this is the perfect time to experiment and try out different interests to see what resonates with you the best. Having something like this to go to when you’re stressed can assist you in taking your mind off things as well as allow you to blow off any steam. Sports, instruments, and art are all great options of different hobbies you can incorporate into your daily life to help ward off stress.

Prioritize Your Health

Chronic stress can really take a serious toll on the physical and mental health if left unchecked for too long, which will only end up making stress levels even worse. Make the effort to really support your health during this time by getting ample sleep, eating three balanced meals a day, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and getting outside and in the sunshine for a few minutes each day. You are still growing and developing so much during these years, and you might be amazed at the amount that taking care of your health can positively impact your mental health and stress levels.

Talk to Someone

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it is always a good idea to open up to someone you trust if you are feeling a lot of stress about going back to school, or stress about anything in general. No one has ever abolished their stress by braving it alone and keeping it all bottled up, and it will likely only get worse if this is the route you opt for. Whether you go to a guidance counselor, teacher, therapist, parent, or sibling, speaking up about any back-to-school stress you’re experiencing is so beneficial and will surely provide a huge amount of relief. It’s okay to feel not okay all the time, and it’s so crucial to remember that you don’t have to always hold everything in.

The end of summer vacation is typically a tough time for most students and getting back into the swing of things with school can present quite a challenge and initiate a lot of stress. Keeping a positive mindset during this time can help make the transition back into the school year a much easier one, and always remember that you are capable of anything you set your mind to and will be conquering this new chapter in no time.


Getting Help

If you or a loved one are experiencing an overload of stress and anxiety, we are ready to help you gain control over those feelings. We have a team of psychiatrists, therapists and psychologists that specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication management. Our team of compassionate and skilled professionals is available for in person appointments for patients in the DFW area. We also offer online appointments for patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston and San Antonio areas.

Dr. Michael Messina

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