During the school holidays, having spent time away from teachers, your friends, your peers in the classroom, and large groups of people, not to mention a break from routine and learning, it’s completely normal to have worries and feelings of apprehension about being back at school.
It may also be the time of year when you are moving into a new school, or moving up to a different class, which may also be making you feel more worried than you usually are.
It’s completely normal to feel this way, and you won’t be the only one.
What can make us less worried?
Sometimes we spend more time thinking about the things that may go wrong, or that scare or worry us. It can help us to think about all the nice things that being back at school means to us:
- seeing friends again.
- enjoying new learning.
- getting back into a routine.
- having a break from parents/carers!
- slowly getting back to “normal”.
What can help?
Talking to an adult you trust about how you are feeling can help. This could be a parent or carer, or a teacher at your school. There are things that they can help you with that may make you to feel better:
- Going through the timetable of the school day.
- Showing you your new classroom and where you will sit.
- Visiting a new school.
- Making friends.
- Give you extra help to talk about how you are feeling.
It can sometimes help to write down how are you feeling and the worries that you have, whether this is as a diary entry, a list, or even a mind-map. A mind-map is a type of spider diagram, where you can write something in the middle of the page – perhaps inside a circle or a shape of your choice – then you would draw lines from this central shape to other words and images, related to the central word. Mind-maps aren’t just for writing down your worries, they can be used for ideas and planning too. To see an example of a mind-map, click the link below.Go to What is a Mind Map web page?
Then it’s up to you what you do with the things you’ve written down; you could show your worries to a trusted adult to read, which might make it easier than saying things out loud. You might choose not to show anyone, and that’s also fine; it can just help to have feelings written down as a way for you to off-load.
There’s an old saying of “a problem shared, is a problem halved”. What this means is that by sharing your worries, feelings, or concerns with someone else can really help to make you feel better about things. The person you choose to share with can offer advice, a hug, and some reassurance.
There are other things you can to do help you before you go back to school, and once you’ve returned:
- Use fidget toys or other grounding objects*.
- Carry a stress ball.
- Focus on your breathing – try to slow it down, take deep breaths – focussing on this will help to distract from your worries.
- Stretch and wiggle your fingers or toes. Again, this will help to distract you from your thoughts.
* “Grounding objects are things people hold or touch that they can focus on. Some people choose objects with a special meaning or memory attached to them. Others find it helpful to find objects with soothing or interesting textures” (Grounding Objects | Understanding Voices).
You can read more about grounding objects and grounding techniques when feeling anxious on the YoungMinds website, using the button below:Go to Grounding Techniques
YoungMinds also has some great information to support you with any worries or concerns you may have about returning to school. You can use the button below to visit the website:Go to YoungMinds website
Content updated 20/10/2023