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Back-to-School Mental Health Tips for Students

As the new school year approaches, it can bring excitement and nervousness for students and parents. Transitioning from a break back to a structured routine may feel overwhelming for the child and parent alike. Considering how this transition may affect your child’s mental health is essential. One easy and meaningful way to support your child’s mental health is to validate that their emotions are real and are worthy of our respect and attention. Here are six helpful mental health tips to share with your child to make the process smoother.

Set Realistic Expectations

Remember that nobody’s perfect. Embrace the idea that you will face challenges and setbacks like everyone else. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on personal growth and improvement. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and use any difficulties as opportunities to learn and grow. It's OK to stumble; what matters most is how you pick yourself up and keep moving forward.

Organize and Plan

Organize your school supplies and plan your schedule in advance. Create a study plan that allows for breaks and fun activities to maintain a healthy balance. Having a well-structured routine can ease uncertainty and stress.

Stay Connected

Reconnecting with friends and other familiar faces can help ease the transition back to school. Joining clubs, sports teams, or other after-school activities can be an excellent way to make new friends with shared interests.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying active is also crucial for a positive mindset. Doing things you enjoy, like bike riding, going to a movie with a friend or spending time with your pet, are all part of self-care and are important for your mental health.

Talk About Your Feelings

You may feel anxious about returning to school. Know that you’re not alone. Feeling anxious about going back to school is common for many students. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or teacher about your feelings and concerns. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can alleviate stress and provide support.

Develop Coping Strategies

If you feel overwhelmed, coping strategies can help. Practice deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or meditation to manage anxiety and stress. Psychologists and other mental health professionals can also teach you specialized coping techniques.

If you ever find yourself struggling with your mental health, don't hesitate to reach out for support from a family member, counselor, or mental health professional. If you think you may have a serious mental health issue, like depression, a number of online mental health tests that you can take anonymously are also available at Mental Health America.


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