The school year is starting back up again if it hasn’t started already and that means that it’s time to shift from slower summer days to drop-offs, pick-ups, and assignments.

Any transition can be tough and increase anxiety, however this point of the year may cause some extra uneasiness. 

All of a sudden you may need to be waking up earlier or may have additional responsibilities that can feel daunting. If you’re feeling the heap pile up, I totally understand and would like to help by relaying some tips to reframe anxiety into ways that this transition can be beneficial in easing anxiety. 

Routine, routine, routine: 

As I have mentioned before, establishing a routine can be wildly beneficial in easing any nervousness or anxiety.  Back-to-school time makes this even easier to establish because there may be outside events now automatically built into your day. Entering dependable aspects of your days or weeks can alleviate any uneasiness or surprises of what to expect. Routine items can include things as simple as making a lunch the night before or adding items into a calendar on a weekly basis. And once that routine is settled, it is more likely for your physiology to settle—which in turn alleviates anxiety. 

Built-in self-care time: 

With this new fall built-in routine, you may find that you will have automatically built-in free slots. By alleviating the pressure of deciding when to add in that face mask or fall-themed manicure, you can free up the time and space to actually go do those things. And, like I have spoken about before, increased self-care can ultimately lead to decreased anxiety. 

Increase in comforting rituals: 

Back-to-school time also means that fall is starting, which brings a whole slew of comforting things. If you’re a fan of pumpkin beverages, warmer clothes, and soothing food treats, then this time of year can be great to really settle into those comforts. When we have built-in identified things that bring us comfort, it can be much easier to alleviate anxiousness. 

If you have a list of things that you know will make you feel good, then it’s much easier to not have to try so hard to find something that makes you feel better. And when you don’t have to spend too much time choosing, it can be way easier to exit a state of anxiety. 

If you’re curious to see how anxiety can be relieved during this time through comforting rituals, try taking five minutes to list out one to five things that you know make you feel good during fall. Make sure that list is accessible to you (I usually recommend using your phone note app, a voice recording, a post it on your wall, or if you want to get cute, a little jar with your ideas written on popsicle sticks. Then, when anxiousness visits, head straight to your list and pick one thing. You’ll see that depending on the time it takes to access your list; you can have anxiety take a breather within seconds. 

Wishing you a comforting return to this back-to-school season. 


About the author

Becca is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Associate who gives us her expert perspective on Emotional Health and Wellness. She holds an M.A in Education with an emphasis in Counseling as well as an M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from San Diego State University.  Each month she writes about mental health and how to feel your best!
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