How to Stop Feeling Worried About Going to School on Monday

Two Parts:Preparing for School to Reduce WorryChanging your Attitude to Boost Confidence

Going back to school each week can be a major cause for worry, especially if you have an upcoming test or difficulty with your peers. But, there are things you can do to relax and ease your Sunday night jitters. Being well prepared to make sure that everything goes smoothly is crucial, and so is getting into a positive mindset to improve your outlook for the upcoming week.

Part 1
Preparing for School to Reduce Worry

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    Prepare early and thoroughly.[1] A lot of what creates stress about school is whether or not you are sufficiently prepared to arrive on time with everything you need. To get rid of preparedness concerns, do as much as you can on Sunday evening. Taking action will relax you so that you can sleep well and make you feel more confident when Monday comes.
    • Check to make sure that you have everything you need in your backpack, and pay special attention any completed assignments that need to be turned in.
    • Pack a healthy lunch so that you can grab it quickly in the morning.
    • Set your alarm and make sure that its batteries are fully charged. This way you won't have to worry about whether or not you'll be on time.
    • Pick out your clothes too, so you won't need to make a decision in the morning.
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    Talk it out.[2] If you have friends to talk to on the phone or family members nearby, remember that you can go to them to talk about your concerns. Even if you're not worried about anything in particular, talking can be a great way to release your anxiety. Let someone you trust know how you feel, and take advantage of how relaxing it is to know that you are supported by people who love you and will listen to you.
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    Learn how to really relax. It seems like relaxing should be easy to do, but in truth a lot of the things we do to relax don't work very well, like watching TV or hanging out on the computer.[3] Try out a relaxation technique that will be your go-to when you're worrying a lot about Monday. Techniques like deep breathing, tai chi, and yoga help your mind relax along with your body.
    • Deep breathing, for instance, relaxes an important nerve in your brain that can send a message to the rest of your body to become calm and loose.[4]
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    Take a bath. A soothing bath is a great way to settle down and take your mind off of nervous anticipation for the next day. If you have bath salt or essential oils (like lavender, chamomile, or jasmine), use them to increase the calming effect.[5] Try to let your worries about school fade away as you soak up the warmth.
    • But, if school is still on your mind, use the bath as a place to remind yourself of all the reasons why school is not as bad as you think it is.
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    Get a good night of sleep. Sleeping too little will leave you feeling groggy and irritable the next day, but so will sleeping too much. Try to get a solid 8-9 hours of sleep, leaving an extra hour before bed to settle down.[6] If you're having trouble sleeping, don't give up and go on the computer or do something else. Give yourself time to fall asleep, and make sure that you take long, deep breaths as you're drifting off.
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    Eat an energizing breakfast. Eating a good breakfast will make you more alert, active, and focused. So, whatever the cause of your worry, a well-rounded breakfast (fruit, protein, dairy, and whole grain) makes you more able to handle the difficulty and drudgery of school. Eating breakfast also kicks off your metabolism and helps you make better food choices throughout the day.[7] Getting nutritious in the morning can boost your confidence, too.
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    Keep and check your school “to-do” list.[8] Don't arrive at school surprised about what is expected of you. If you show up without being aware of your academic obligations, school will continue to be a place to dread. Make a to-do list to update yourself on what you need to do before each coming day. That way on Sunday night you can rest easy knowing that you haven't accidentally forgotten anything.
    • If you don’t already have a calendar or planner, get one. Then you can mark down important dates—all of your tests, finals, and due dates should be included as soon as you know them.
    • You can also use your to-do list to see how much time you have for non-school activities. It will help you make choices about when to do schoolwork versus when to do other things. If your calendar is full of due dates for the coming week, you can say no to taking on other activities.
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    Soothe your test anxiety. If you’re dreading Monday because of a quiz or exam get better prepared by learning how to keep anxiety in check. The following tips will help you feel more confident once you are already secure with the material on the test.[9]
    • Talk to your teacher beforehand about what types of questions will be on the test—don’t let anything catch you by surprise. This can cause your mind to go blank.
    • Remind yourself that you can do the test in any order, based on what you remember first. Don’t try to force yourself to follow the order already given on the page.
    • Finish studying by Saturday and only use Sunday or Monday morning for brief reviews of around 10 minutes. Avoid cramming so that you can get some distance from the material—surprisingly, this can help you perform better overall.
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    Talk to your teachers. If you are worried about going to school because of how difficult your classes are or out of frustration from getting behind, talk to your teachers. Getting help early on is important because class will only keep going, making you further and further behind.[10] Everyone has trouble in one class or another, so don’t be embarrassed to ask for help when you first realize you need it.
    • Make your teacher’s job easier by paying attention in class to the best of your abilities. It’s not always easy to do at the time, but focusing and staying on top of your schoolwork can actually make class interesting rather than burdensome.
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    Address signs of deeper anxiety. Sometimes being worried about school is not easily eliminated, and this could be a sign that you might need help from someone who is equipped to deal with anxiety. Talk to your parents if you show any of the symptoms listed here, and pay special attention if you are just beginning at a new school, or are starting a new grade. Transitions like these often come with more extreme feelings of anxiety and symptoms such as:[11]
    • Refusal to leave the house
    • Physical symptoms like headaches, stomach pain, nausea, or diarrhea
    • Tantrums
    • Anxiety at the thought of separating from your parents

Part 2
Changing your Attitude to Boost Confidence

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    Accept school.[12] Even though it may be difficult, recognize that school is here to stay--for now. The downside is that you have to get through school, and that can make it seem like a terrible punishment. But, the positive is that school is not permanent, and once you're done you'll be in a position to see how good it was for you in the long run.
    • If you have thoughts about school, like how terrible it will be or how much you don’t want to go, remind yourself that there are good parts of school that you can see here and now.[13]
    • For example, tell yourself, “oh c'mon, it’s not that bad—at school you get to see all your friends!”
    • You can also try looking at school as a challenge. Your worry isn't coming from nowhere. After all, school really does present a challenge, and recognizing that will help you summon the strength and bravery that it takes to make it there.
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    Make a list of positives. In order to boost your confidence so that you know you are ready to be successful in school, take some time to think about all the things you like about yourself. Write down all of your features and personality traits that you like--your eyes, for example, or your sense of humor. Continue to think about your positive traits, adding everything you are good at in school--maybe you're a modest biology whiz or an excellent speller. Then, add all of the things you have achieved to the list, including your talents, good things that you've done for others, and meaningful compliments that you have received.[14]
    • Keep your list close to you, as it will be a good resource. When you feel worried and don't quite know why, look at the list to remind yourself of how capable you are of getting through school.
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    Prepare to see your peers. Chances are good that when you go to school you'll come into contact with people you really like...and others you're not so fond of. If you're concerned about being uncomfortable around schoolmates, arrive ready with a strategy that suits you. For example, if you're soft spoken and shy, be prepared to avoid talking and being around people who get you down. If you're outgoing, make it a point to stick close to friends who can buffer you from people you really can't stand.
    • Just make sure to do whatever you can to stop from reaching a boiling point, that point when you're so frustrated or angry at someone that you want to fight with either your words or your fists.
    • As a rule of thumb, being polite and kind is a good plan. Even if you don't feel the other person deserves it, do what you can for the sake of a smooth school day.
    • However, if a person or group makes you fear for your safety or your reputation, you may be a victim of bullying. If so, you should tell school officials who can help get the situation under control.
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    Write morning notes to yourself.[15] Just a few words of encouragement will give you a greater sense of support. Write a fun note to yourself in the morning that will make you chuckle a bit and remind you not to worry too much about school. Make sure that the message of the note is positive, so don't write about not worrying, write about something separate from worry altogether.
    • The more personal the note is, the better. Write a little joke that you have with yourself, or reference something funny you've seen or done recently.
    • Change the notes enough so that they don't lose their effect [16].
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    Get involved in a cool extracurricular.[17] To make school seem a little bit more fun, get involved in an activity that you like. Maybe you love to draw or sing, but these are things you do outside of school. By getting involved in a club or class that lets you do what you love, you can start to associate going to school with having a good time. Instead of worrying about tests, essays, and due dates, focus on how much you like the drama club you just joined or the art class that you're enrolled in.
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    Make goals for school. Spend time thinking about your future in order to make goals for school. It may not seem like life after classes exists, but thinking about how to get where you want to be after school can help you get motivated. Setting school-related goals will fill your Sundays with a sense of purpose, and maybe even excitement. But, make goals for yourself that are reasonable. Aim high, but don't bite off more than you can chew.
    • For example, if you're already pretty good at algebra, set a goal to secure an A in the class for the end of the semester.
    • Make sub-goals so that you can have a short-term sense of achievement, too. Every time you ace an assignment or quiz, reward yourself for getting one step closer to your main goal.

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Categories: Back to School | School Stuff