Managing Stress at the Beginning of the School Year

Both adults and children face stress at the beginning of the school year. This is because there are so many things that must be done. It’s quite common for you and your children to want to avoid things like classwork, homework, and social pressure. However, if you don’t deal with your stress it’ll negatively impact both your emotional and physical well-being. Learning techniques for managing stress are as important as anything else you’ll learn this school year.

Refocus Your Mindset

There are three questions you should ask to help you focus on the challenge on hand:

  • Is this something that’s truly worth going into fight-or-flight mode for? Remember, when you’re in crisis mode you must determine if you’re really under attack. In this way you’re putting the issue into perspective.
  • How will I feel about this challenge later? When you pause to think about this, you’ll probably see that the situation is temporary. Tell yourself, “this too shall pass” and I’ll move forward.
  • Is this something that’s permanent? If it’s something positive, don’t let self-defeating thoughts creep in. Instead, tell yourself that you do appreciate good things.

Breathe Deep

This is a valuable skill to learn in managing stress because it’ll help you reduce its ill effects on your body. Research shows that cortisol has a destructive effect on your body, causing both your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. When you feel this happening, you should go someplace comfortable and quiet, take a few breaths followed by a few deep breaths (deeply, slowly through your nose) that are slowly exhaled through your mouth.

Get Physically Active

Exercise will immediately reduce your stress and exercise because endorphins (chemicals called neurotransmitters) get released into your brain and nervous system so you start feeling better. You’ll also notice your head will get clearer as your mind and body grow stronger. This doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym. You can simply take a walk or get involved in some physical activity that you enjoy.

Remain Positive

Whenever you’re faced with a stressful situation, you should immediately look for something positive in it. Taking the time to reframe your outlook in this way will help you with managing stress more effectively. It’ll also help you create a better plan of action – one that’s more effective.

Learn to Laugh at Things

Laughter is a great pick-me-up for managing stress. Research shows that it triggers the release of endorphins in your brain while also decreasing stress hormones.

Be a Role Model for Your Children

Remember, your child is watching everything you do. They’ll benefit from this if you successfully manage your own stress. Although your older children may reject you if you say something but do something else. This is why it’s so important that you’re smart with choosing your coping strategies and not turn to questionable ways of doing so. Of course, you can continue learning and trying different tactics to find ways to effectively manage your own stress.


Creating a comprehensive plan for managing stress is an important part of growing and evolving as a person. This is something that you can work through individualistically or with those who support you (e.g. parents, caregivers, counselors). Make sure your plan contains proven strategies to decipher what the trigger of your stress is, a way to manage your emotions, then some additional tips for dealing with particularly stressful situations.

These tips will help you with managing stress. However, there may still be some situations in which you’ll need some outside help. When these situations arise make sure you contact the Advantage Mental Health Center.

Picture Credit: nastya_gepp