Back to school anxiety: what to do about it!
With the PNW summer now on its final stretch and back to school right around the corner, many families and educators are feeling their anxiety skyrocket. Here are four tips you can use right now to help bring your anxiety back to earth.
- Get out of your head: Anxiety doesn’t start with thoughts; it starts with believing those thoughts. Try to make a conscious effort to not believe the thought and notice your anxiety gradually go away. After all, a thought is just a thought.
- Label, describe, and rate your anxiety: Take ownership of your anxiety and call it what it is. Then describe your anxiety. For example, “This anxiety feels like heavy weight dropped in my stomach and it’s hard to breathe.” Now rate your anxiety on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being no anxiety, 10 worse anxiety ever). By frequently labeling and rating your anxiety you’ll notice that not all anxiety is the same.
- Accept your anxiety and ride it out: Anxiety follows the law of gravity—that is, what goes up must come down. So, allow the anxiety to run its course and leave on its own, naturally. In doing so, you’ll teach yourself that you can handle it.
- Let go of your need to control uncertainty: Worrying about every unpleasant surprise may make you feel like you have control, but it doesn’t make the future any more predictable. In fact, when you worry too much you miss the good things around you now. Accept that life is uncertain and move on to what is certain, the present.
Remember these are skills that get better with practice so don’t get discouraged. It’s more important that you’re being flexible! What skills have worked for you that you would like to share?
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