Starting something new sparks anxiety in all of us, so it’s not surprising that the start of a new school year can bring on anxiety for many teens. Here are some quick tips for parents to help their teens who may be struggling during this time:
Quick Tips to Help with Back-to-School Anxiety
- Encourage open communication: Create a safe and non-judgmental space for your teen to express their feelings and concerns about their new school year. Listen actively and validate their emotions.
- Gradual approach to school-related tasks: If your teen’s anxiety is related to anticipating schoolwork, we encourage gradually approaching some school-related tasks. Take a book from the library, get a few school supplies, and start creating a routine that includes reading/learning and waking up earlier. Approaching things related to their worries is a compelling way to ease anxiety.
- Set realistic expectations: Remind your teen that it’s normal to feel anxious about new situations, but also emphasize that taking things one step at a time is okay.
- Encourage self-care: Ensure your teen gets enough sleep, eats well, and engages in activities they enjoy. Regular exercise and relaxation techniques can also help reduce stress.
- Connect with peers: Support your teen in maintaining social connections with friends and classmates. A support system can help keep anxiety at bay throughout the school year.
- Limit exposure to news and social media: Constant exposure to information and social media can amplify anxiety. Encourage your teen to take breaks from screens and focus on real-world people and activities.
- Collaborate with the school: Establish open communication with teachers or counselors. If you are concerned, inform them about your teen’s anxiety so they can provide appropriate support and understanding.
When Should I Seek Professional Help?
If your teen’s anxiety is persistent and significantly affecting their daily life beyond the first few weeks of school, consider seeking support from a mental health professional who specializes in working with adolescents.
Lumate has expert therapists who specialize in working with teens and young adults. We are currently accepting patients (12-25) in FL, NY, NJ, CT, and CA who may be struggling with anxiety and OCD. Schedule an appointment today.