Going back to school
If you’re worried about going back to school then you’re not alone. For most young people, lockdown will be the longest they’ve gone without being in a classroom and it’s normal to feel a bit anxious about going back. There are some things you can start doing now to make that transition back to school easier.
The practical things
We know how tempting it is to snooze the alarm and make the most of being able to lie in over these last days of summer, but if you can gradually bring your alarm forward to the time it would normally be for school you will feel a lot more ready when it comes to that first day back. Make sure you have everything you need ready for the first week back – uniform, PE kit, pencil case… summer homework?
Talk about school
Start talking to your friends and family about what school will look like when you go back – there are bound to be some changes, like having a new teacher and new rules to make sure you can socially distance, but just thinking about what it will be like and getting into that school mind-set can help you feel more ready. Your school might have some helpful information on their website – why not have a look and see what you can find.
Talk about anything you’re worried about and don’t be afraid to ask questions – you might find people have similar worries and you can put each other’s minds at ease. This might feel especially nerve wracking if you’re starting a new school. Try writing down your worries and thinking what you might do to cope if a particular situation happens. You can do this with someone you trust and it can help you feel much more prepared for the new school year. Don’t forget you can also speak to your teachers at school – find someone you trust if you’re still having worries when you return to school.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your worries with your parents or friends, you can talk to someone anonymously for free. Kooth is a free, anonymous online support platform that includes self-care resources and access to trained online counsellors, as well as an online support network. It is open to anyone aged 11-18 living in Gloucestershire and experiencing issues with their emotional wellbeing, such as stress, low mood or anxiety. There is also an anonymous phone or online counselling service for young people aged nine to 21 called TIC+ Chat. If you prefer texting, you can contact Chat Health – a confidential texting service to get in touch with a healthcare professional for advice and support on mental and physical health worries. Text 07507 333351.
Take care of yourself
Whether you’re feeling low, anxious or actually, you’re in a good place right now – we can all do things every day to support our mental wellbeing, like practising self-care. This will mean different things to different people, but essentially this covers any activity that you enjoy that doesn’t have a negative effect on you (like too much scrolling on social media!). Find a list of some self-care activities you could try here. Research shows that the Five Ways to Wellbeing are some of the best things we can do regularly to protect our mental health. These are: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, and give.
However you’re feeling, remember that others will also be feeling this way and usually negative emotions will pass in time. Keep talking to your family and friends and reach out for more support if you need it.