With the many changes in our daily lives from COVID-19, the beginning of the upcoming school year can feel more overwhelming than ever. I know that I for one find it chaotic trying to prepare for school this year. Firstly, there are the regular demands of prepping for this year such as replenishing my old school supplies and trying to correct my sleep schedule at the last minute, but additionally, this year we are forced to do some adjusting to the new regulations for schooling presented as well. Here are some things that helped me that you can use to calm down and prepare for the year ahead as well.
Organize your school supplies- Throw out supplies that are too used or broken to keep. Those old assignments that are piling on your desk for months? Recycle them or store the necessary ones you need to keep in a folder. Although this seems pretty self-explanatory, decluttering your old school things from last year and organizing your new supplies for this year can help you feel less stressed in anticipation of the year ahead. Studies show that organizing and throwing away useless things can reduce stress. This is because the brain naturally craves symmetry and clearing unnecessary things out and organizing things creates the symmetry the brain desires to see, which lowers your feeling of being stressed.
Create a list- Creating a list, such as one for shopping, will keep you focused on what you need to do or buy for the school year so you don’t get as distracted by the havoc around you or by other products for sale that you do not need. Furthermore, any list will help you feel more relaxed because your brain is not being forced to remember everything you need since it is already written down. Lastly, lists will keep you organized since you can cross off the things you have bought so you are not constantly wondering whether you have already bought something you need or not. This will reduce the mental strain on yourself and also avoid extra products and shopping trips.
Avoid going shopping for school supplies when stores are the busiest- By avoiding going into stores when they are busy, it will ensure that you are more relaxed when you are looking for new school supplies. You won’t be immersed in the panic from others and long lines in and out of stores, which will make you feel less overwhelmed overall.
Meditate- Remember to not worry about things that are out of your control or didn’t happen yet. An excellent way to achieve this is through meditation. Meditation has been proven through studies to help you think clearly and reduce stress which will help you not feel so anxious and overloaded when getting ready for school this year.
Make sure you set time aside for yourself- Give yourself time to think and do things other than prepping for school. Naturally, you will be nervous about the new way of schooling because of COVID-19 along with the more demanding standards and assignments that will be asked from you to meet, but an easy way to get rid of these thoughts for a bit is through self-care. Do activities that make you relaxed and happy such as exercising, reading, meeting up with friends, going for a walk, and taking a bath. While doing these activities, try to push aside any intrusive thoughts that may creep up on you and focus on unwinding and enjoying the remainder of your summer instead.
Benefits of Meditation. (2020). Retrieved July 21, 2020, from https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/meditation/meditation-for-you/benefits-of-meditation
Benefits of To Do Lists. (2014, August 28). Retrieved July 21, 2020, from http://www.robinskey.com/the-benefits-of-to-do-lists-and-whats-on-mine/
Boyes, A. (2018, February 12). 6 Benefits of an Uncluttered Space. Retrieved July 21, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201802/6-benefits-uncluttered-space
Elizabeth Scott, M. (2020, June 27). Secret Weapon Against Stress: Getting Organized! Retrieved July 21, 2020, from https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-on-getting-organized-3145158
Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately.