• Dr Helen Care

Back to School - Joy or Gloom?

If you are feeling the thrill of new shoes, new pens and blank exercise books - then good for you. Have a wonderful term back at college, school or sixth form. For anyone not feeling the September joy - read on.


We all get anxious about new things. It's normal. If you are somewhere new you haven't had time to learn the routines, to find friends or even just to find where you are going. Everyone experiences that butterflies in your tummy nervous feeling. It won't last for ever. One day you won't be new anymore.

Plus sides

There are plus sides to that nervous energy. It's your body's way of making you more alert for the things you need to notice - like which way to go. Or, dare we say it, which lecturers or teachers to be on your best behaviour for!


But if nervous feelings stick around too long, or make everything feel like it's too much to handle, then that nervous energy stops being helpful and starts getting in the way. If you get a deflated Monday morning feeling then it's probably normal - we all love a weekend after all. But if your Sunday evening leaves you feeling sick about tomorrow, or your Friday feeling never quite arrives, then it's time to do something about it.

Managing Anxiety

In my work, I meet with a lot of teenagers who find it hard to go to school or college. For whatever reason they are finding it hard at the time. Maybe they worry about the work, or about feeling they aren't socializing, or maybe it's something outside of school that has upset them. We work together to find a different perspective on it and to find things to do differently to change they way they feel about school.

This is a good place to start managing anxiety:

1 - it's completely normal to get worried. So no criticizing yourself for it!

2 - use it to your advantage - it's a kind of super-energy to get you through tricky times

3 - exercise it off - super-energy has to go somewhere and it's gone to your muscles so use it

4 - give yourself a break - do something you enjoy

5 - talk it through with someone who can help

6 - approach it in small manageable steps

I hope that this academic year will be the story you want to tell.

With best wishes,


Dr Helen Care

Clinical Psychologist

A Confident Start - with psychology that works for you.

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