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If you’re getting ready to head back to school after the summer holidays, you’re probably wondering where the last six weeks have gone? Soon enough it’ll be back to early starts, classrooms and homework!

Many of us get nervous at the start of term so, if you’re feeling a little anxious, don’t worry – you’re definitely not alone. And even if you’re living with a mental health issue, going back to school doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Take a look at our top tips for a smooth first week back.

 Back to school

  1. Get organised - Over the next few days make a list of everything you’ll need on your first day and start getting it together. You’ll feel much more relaxed knowing you’re well prepared and it’ll make the first morning back that little bit easier. Also, check what day and time you’re due back on (most schools list this information on their website) – the last thing you want to do is turn up a day early or a day late.
  2. Return to a routine - OK, so you probably want to savour those last few lie-ins but if you want to feel fresh for your first day back, you need to ditch the summer sleep pattern. If you’re anything like us, lack of sleep can make you grumpy and unfocused, so get a couple of early nights in and try to get up no more than an hour later than you would on a school day. Need some help getting a good night’s sleep? Take a look at our top tips.
  3. Talk to your teachers - It’s not easy talking to teachers about personal stuff but if you’re struggling with a mental health issue or you’re worried about something, from a problem at home to exams later in the year, it can be helpful to talk to someone. Plus if you let your teacher know now, they can make sure you’ve got any support in place that you might need or suggest things to make school life a little easier. If you’re not comfortable talking to them yourselves, you could always ask a parent or friend to talk to them on your behalf.
  4. Think positive - If you’re filled with negative thoughts about getting back into the classroom, the start of term can be a big worry. Try to spend a few minutes focusing on some of the good things and, trust us, there are some, even if it’s just catching up with mates or a enjoying a favourite item on the lunch menu. Jot them down so that you can take a look at your list when you start to focus on the negatives.
  5. Plan for the worst - As odd as it sounds, one of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to think about the worst thing that could happen. Often when you do this, the ‘worst’ will not seem quite as bad. And if you’re still feeling the nerves, come up with a plan to stop the worst from happening or to cope if it does. Heading to a new school and worried you’ll get lost? Make sure you ask where each area is when you get your timetable and, if you do find yourself confused by the corridors, stop and ask a member of staff for directions. You can’t guarantee you won’t get lost but having a plan in place in case you do will make it seem like less of a deal.