Here’s how to make the transition easier
Anxiety and nerves are normal, says expert.
Last week, we asked you to share your tips on how to squash back-to-school nerves. Thanks to your awesome advice, we’ve created a guide to help ease the transition.
CBC Kids News also spoke to an expert to find out about why back-to-school anxiety exists and how you can jump into a new routine a little easier this year.
It’s totally normal, says expertDr. Ashley Miller is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.
She says that transitions are hard for everyone, whether you’re a kid or an adult.
© Provided by CBC Kids News
Dr. Ashley Miller said it’s totally normal to feel nervous about stepping back into the school hallway. (Image credit: Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press)That’s because routines are healthy for us, and changing into a new one can throw us off.
“It’s really important to know that it’s very normal to have a whole range of feelings about going back to school — from excitement, to anxiety and sadness, to even anger,” said Miller in an interview with CBC Kids News.
For some kids, those feelings can even be physical.
If you’ve ever had stomachaches, headaches or butterflies in your stomach when thinking about returning to school in September, Miller said, that’s “all normal, too.”
Making the transition easier
Miller said one of the best ways to ease into a new routine is by focusing on what you’re looking forward to, rather than what makes you feel nervous.
“It could be one friend you’re excited to see or even the idea of walking to school every day.”
Picking out your back-to-school outfit the night before is one small thing you can do to make your first day easier. (Image credit: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)She said getting used to your new environment before school starts is a good idea.
"Walking or biking by the school can help,” said Miller. “Or you could try to hang out with a kid who’s going to be in your grade.”
Getting enough sleep, exercising, and talking to adults and friends that you trust are other effective ways to cope with anxiety and negative feelings.
Miller suggested kids should try to get their bedtimes back on track a week ahead of school.
“If bedtime [is now] super late, or there is no bedtime, try to move it an hour earlier every night leading up to your first day of school,” said Miller.
Last pro tip? Miller suggests picking out your first back-to-school outfit the night before.
Want more ways to help anxiety? Check out this video