Mental Health

Back to school: How to reduce anxiety

August 11, 2019

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Back to school: For some kids, it’s exciting and hopeful. For others, thoughts on returning to school can increase anxiety.

Try these tips to give children and teens the best chance at a positive school year.

Elementary school

  • Talk about the new schedule; write it down
  • Start an earlier bedtime
  • Practice the route to school
  • Help your child in choosing lunch and making lunches together
  • Practice skills to help kids calm themselves
  • Make fun traditions out of back-to-school shopping and other preparations
  • Encourage your child to talk: What are they are excited about? What are their worries?
  • If it’s a new school, schedule a tour and meeting with the teacher
  • Incorporate exercise or sports into their day

Middle school/high school

  • Give your teen a planner/calendar to help with organization
  • Plan for ways to make sure your teen eats regularly
  • Establish a homework schedule that includes breaks 
  • Practice coping skills: breathing, listening to music, walking, taking a shower or calling a friend
  • Discuss their concerns and goals
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep: practice turning off technology at night
  • Take an interest in their classes, their teachers and activities
  • Identify school accommodations such as school counselors

If your child’s or teen’s anxiety seems too much, discuss with your pediatrician. Click here for help finding a provider.

For media inquiries, contact Kristin Whitney.

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