Mental health: Understanding anxiety as you return to school
As you return to school, feelings of stress and anxiety are normal, but it can be hard to recognise them or know how to react if this is the first time.
Returning to school, seeing your friends again after months away and getting back into a routine can be overwhelming. This might be amplified if you are worried about the coronavirus and this is your first time leaving the house again.
Sometimes it’s hard to talk about how you’re really doing. But sharing what’s on your mind can help. That’s why we’re here to listen, day or night.
— Samaritans Scotland (@Sams_Scotland) August 12, 2020
What is anxiety?
You could be experiencing anxiety without knowing it. Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid. This can be because of things that are about to happen, or that we think could happen in the future.
Anxiety can be experienced through our thoughts and feelings, but it can also have physical symptoms.
If you are experiencing anxiety you might feel nervous, restless or panicked. You can also experience physical symptoms like a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling and difficulty focussing.
The sun is out in Scotland and it’s almost the weekend which means you might feel pressure to go out and socialise. But if you’re still feeling anxious about meeting up with people, that’s okay. Take time for yourself, and go at your own pace. Get support: https://t.co/FKzPlZVabb pic.twitter.com/TUOxX1aO9L
— See Me (@seemescotland) August 13, 2020
You might also experience stomach problems, a strong desire to avoid certain situations or trouble sleeping.
Anxiety is a part of everybody’s life, but it can become a mental health problem if it affects your ability to live your life fully. If your feelings of anxiety last for a long time, you avoid situations because you feel anxious, or you become very distressed, it is important to seek support.
There is no shame in feeling anxious and it is not embarrassing to admit this to the people around you or your doctor. If you are feeling like this please remember that it is ok not to be ok.
Even if you only experience anxiety occasionally, getting support is key.
Speaking to your parents, friends, a teacher or someone else that you trust can help you understand and process your feelings. They can also help you to get the right support. You won’t be judged for having feelings of anxiety, it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Many people experiencing a mental health problem will speak to friends and family before they speak to a health professional, so the support you offer can be really valuable. (1/5) pic.twitter.com/vm5U8ofaUu
— Mind (@MindCharity) July 14, 2020
Telling the people around you about how you feel will help you to build a support system and will make it easier if you need some time alone to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Once you have told a trusted family member or friend about how you are feeling, the next step is speaking to your GP. They will be able to listen to how you are feeling and decide on the best course of treatment. This could involve things like talking therapies or anxiety medications.
Your doctor will suggest what they feel is best for you, but you don’t have to take medications if you don’t feel comfortable doing this.
Our Crisis Messenger services provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you’re a young person and need urgent support with your mental health, please text YM to 85258. #ResultsDay https://t.co/zM2YcVebkP
— YoungMinds (@YoungMindsUK) August 13, 2020
If you don’t feel comfortable going to your doctor yet, or you don’t want to share how you are feeling with your loved ones, there are other resources available.