If reading, writing and arithmetic feels a lot like sweaty palms, compounding stress and constant worry, you’re not alone.
With a new school year is around the corner, that means stricter schedules, longer to-do lists and the daily anxiety of “fitting in.” From making the grades to making friends, school can bring a whole lot of pressure along with it – and all that takes a toll, not just on your academic success but on your mental health as well. According to the National Education Administration, today’s high school and college students are more anxious than ever, and 70 percent of you report that anxiety and depression are major problems among your peers.
So how do you deal with a new academic year that all but promises to exacerbate these feelings? Coping with pressure – from your peers, your parents and teachers and even from yourself – in a healthy way isn’t exactly second nature. You’re wired with the desire to succeed, to please and, of course, to fit in and be liked. That’s why it’s important to learn now to deal with the pressure that will inevitably come when that first-period bell rings.
We send our kids to school to learn, but there’s a lot more to school than academics—and it all can affect the mental health of our young people.
From peer pressure to academic pressure to bullying to substance abuse, many of the toughest issues teens face today are intensified when school is in session.
Before you wrap up your summer vacations and start back-to-school shopping, it’s important to understand what your teen may face come September—and know how to identify when she needs help.
Sleep is crucial for healing emotionally and physically. In fact, your healing begins with sleep. Be cognizant of the importance of a good night’s sleep so that you will see it as a necessary tool in your grief journey. Grief and sleep can coexist, and adequate sleep for the griever is essential.
From setting up your room, creating a nighttime ritual to rewiring your mind to focus on positive thoughts instead of drowning in the dark ones, are just some of the thing you can do to help you get the rest your mind, body and soul needs.
Thought anchors are affirmations, which help rewire your brain to reduce anxiety and cultivate deep relaxation. I like calling them “anchors” because they truly help moor you to a state of mind. You can say them or think them as long as you do so repeatedly. You do not need to have a calm mind to benefit from this practice.
HOW TO PRACTICE THOUGHT ANCHORS
Enjoy the way you feel in your bed. Imagine that all of the above thought anchors are true for you—right now in this moment—and enjoy the self-esteem relaxation you experience. Repeat each thought anchor in your mind or out loud with conviction. You can even make up your own. These are just some of my favorites.
To learn more about how you can get a good night sleep, check out my "Sleep" chapter in my book, "What I Wish I'd Known" on Amazon.
by Kristi Hugstad
Each of us has attached ourselves to something or somebody, and when you lose that special thing or person, you grieve. Always. You can try to run from it all you want, but it will always find you and tackle you when you’re not looking. My blogs, along with my books, will give you the tools to help you learn to live with your new self as you journey through your grief.