Managing back to school anxiety will help your year get off to a good start.  Anxiety is a normal reaction to the start of the school year.  In most cases, the anxiety will diminish over the first week or two of school.  Children need time to adjust to the routine and structure of being back in school.  It takes time to get comfortable with teachers, schedules, expectations etc.  If the anxiety and stress persist or it interferes with daily functioning for an extended amount of time, your school counselor is a great resource.  Ask for help.

Here are Dr. Gwen’s 6 Tips to help manage your child’s back-to-school anxiety and stress.   

Set Up A Workspace

It is important to create a workspace that is favorable for learning at home.    

  • Comfortable for completing work.
  • Good Lighting.
  • Strong seating at the correct height. 
  • Materials organized (computer, books, pencils etc.). 
  • Free of clutter and distractions. 

Get Adequate Sleep

  • A good night’s sleep will boost learning, problem-solving, completion of daily tasks, and creativity. 
  • Students should have a set bedtime to ensure they get 8-10 hours or more of sleep nightly
  • Television viewing, electronics and other stimulating activities at bedtime will cause sleep problems so eliminate them 2 hours prior. 
  • Bedtime should be a part of your established daily routine.
  • A bonus is once the kids are in bed, you have time for SELF-Care (meditation, gratitude journal, hot bath) and preparing your own body for sleep. 

Establish Daily Routines

  • Routines help children feel safe, secure, and supported during stressful or difficult times. 
  • Predictability is a good thing
  • Routines also help with organization and provides a sense of control which lowers stress. 
  • Well established routines provide opportunities for free time to play, relax or just spend time as a family doing something you enjoy.

Mood Journals


  •  Mood journals are a great way to help students’ express problems, fears, and concerns (sketch journals too).
  • In turn, you will have an opportunity to identify negative thoughts and behaviors before they become problematic. 
  • You can help students identify stressors and become problem solvers. 
  • If students are too young or do not like to write, mood trackers are another option.  A simple way to create a monthly mood tracker is to use a calendar, add a color key with the moods you want to track, then fill it in each day.

Find Ways For Your Child To Socialize

  •  Many extracurricular activities are canceled due to the pandemic.  Try to find alternative ways for your child to stay active, interact with peers, have fun, and just get some fresh air
  • Virtual school and community clubs like P.E., Art, Music, Book, and Chess are ways for students to stay connected and share common interests. 
  • Clubs also allow students to collaborate, compete, exchange ideas, and learn teamwork and leadership skills.  Virtual game nights with friends are good too.

Take Brain Breaks

  •  A brain break is a simple mental and or physical activity that helps your child to re-energize and re-engage the brain. 
  • Brain breaks is a great way to help children breathe and calm down throughout the day as needed.
  • Taking short brain breaks can reduce stress and frustration and increase attention and productivity.
  • If you are looking for ways to provide your child a little down time and/or a reprieve from learning, one simple thing you can do is utilize Dr. Gwen’s “My Brain Break” Kit.

Comment Below

    I would love to hear back from you with any feedback so please share your thoughts or comments below.

    Click the 6 Tips button below for the FREE PDF flyer that you can post as a visual reminder.  Feel free to share with parents, students and teachers.  You might also like Dr. Gwen’s Back-To-School Bingo.  Click the Bingo Button below for the FREE PDF.  Watch the Facebook Live Video to go along with the challenge on my Facebook Page or YouTube Channel by clicking the links below.

    Peace & Blessings ~ Dr. Gwen

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