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6 Ways to Reduce Back-to-School Anxiety  

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Feeling anxious as the school year looms?

Whether you’re a first-year college student or entering grad school, it can often feel like you’re in fifth grade again as you head back to classes.

This year, especially, many students are stricken with overwhelming anxiety and fear about germs, masks, vaccines, and viruses. After all, how many times in a lifetime do you survive a catastrophic, world-altering pandemic?

To help quell some of these fears and lower your overall anxiety, we’ve outlined key de-stressing strategies. Check them out and see what works for you!

1. Take a warm bubble bath.

Sometimes, all you need is a nice, warm bubble bath. Of course, you’ve got to know how to take a bath the right way!

First, get your bath area set up. Make sure your bathroom is clean and neat. Taking a relaxing bubble bath in a dirty, untidy bathroom is just not the same as taking one in a clean and pristine bathroom.

Next, spruce the place up a bit more with some candles, dimmed lighting, essential oils, and flower petals (just make sure you don’t fall asleep if you’re burning candles!). These things will make the aura of your room (and the scents there) more relaxing and heavenly. Now, get your bathwater at the perfect temperature, and add some bath oils or a bath bomb to the water itself. You could also do a bubble bath, of course.

Finally, play some soft music, and if you like, prepare some hot tea or sip on a glass of wine.

2. Read a good book.

Reading is superior to watching a movie or bingeing on a TV show, and here’s why.

Reading is fully engrossing. When you are totally into a book — especially a fiction book that actually takes you to another world with brand-new characters and a new setting and timeframe — you are transported. You don’t have the ability to be engrossed in a good book while at the same time dwelling on your anxieties. It’s basically impossible.

On the other hand, when you’re watching a movie or a TV show, you can technically be thinking about your anxieties and what you’re worried about and watching the movie or TV show at the same time.

In the end, reading a book is superior to movies and TV because it presses you to create the world that’s being described in the book in your mind. You are tasked with so much creativity as the reader that you can’t possibly lose yourself in the stresses of everyday life.

It’s the best escape there is. Plus, you’ll learn something!

3. Grab the cannabis.

This one’s easy. Head to your local Massachusetts recreational dispensary and find the products that suit you best when you need to destress and release excess anxiety.

4. Have a coffee with friends.

Call a close friend, and make an appointment to grab a coffee at your local coffee shop. Socializing is an excellent way to reduce stress. If it’s a truly close friend, you’ll be able to discuss your anxieties. Even if you talk about other topics, the act of interacting with other human beings is always recharging for the soul.

5. Start gathering what you’ll need for classes.

This one can be a trigger for people who are super anxious about the new school year. Why would you want to think about what you’ll need beforehand when you can put it off until the last possible moment?

The truth is, you’ll have to go book shopping and school supply shopping at some point. Doing it now can actually reduce your ultimate anxiety because, basically, you’ll be getting it over with!

Sometimes, instead of avoiding a problem, if you simply attack it and go through it, you will feel much better.

6. Take a look at your sleep.

How are you sleeping these days? A lot of people have trouble sleeping simply because they haven’t taken the time to make their bedrooms into safe havens of magnificent sleep. Their bedrooms aren’t welcoming, comfortable, or inviting. Instead, they’re messy, dirty, and smelly.

It’s easy to make your bedroom more desirable. Start with your sheets and bedspread. Do your current sheets and bedspread speak to you and shout your personality? No? Get new ones.

Next, take a look at what you wear to sleep. Is it comfortable? Is it cute? Do you feel good in it? Invest in better pajamas.

Finally, start making your bed every morning. Getting into a bed that’s made is far better than getting into a messy bed that’s askew and disorderly.

Not everyone will benefit from this entire list of anti-anxiety strategies. But we do hope you’ve found an idea or two to try out on your own, especially if you’ve been feeling a particularly high amount of stress surrounding the coming school year.

David Smith
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