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20 Strategies to Manage the Stress of Returning to School

1. Stop texting and start talking. Share your thoughts and feelings with your family and friends, face to face.

2. Clean up and organize your work space. Prepare a comfortable place at home to study.

3. Recognize that itʼs normal to feel anxious about returning to school.

4. Do a “mental walk-though” of your schedule. Envision making your way successfully through the building or campus.

5. Develop a time management program. Write it down.

6. Organize your school supplies.

7. Get a good night sleep ... or at least try to.

8. Learn that stress management techniques, like slow deep breathing, listening to music, reading, drawing or creating a journal really work.

9. Make homework and studying a priority.

10. Wear appropriate clothing that makes you feel good.

11. Avoid destructive choices that violate school codes, including the use of alcohol or substances.

12. Fight the temptation to avoid or withdraw. By facing challenging tasks and situations, youʼll overcome feelings of discomfort.

13. Make breakfast and exercise a part of every day.

14. Fantasize about potential career choices. Even if you change your mind a hundred times, youʼll be working toward a goal rather than just “taking classes.”

15. Turn your nervous energy into productive energy.

16. Become involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, music and art.

17. Plan on joining a club. And really do it.

18. Bring into focus how you would be at your best, and strive to live up to your own expectations.

19. Try to cultivate new relationships with your peers and your teachers.

20. Recognize that returning to school presents opportunities to grow.

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