What are some ways to manage social anxiety, since I haven't seen my friends in-person for months?
Start by practicing some calming techniques before you go back to school. Social anxiety often shows up for us physically, and learning to calm your nerves will also help calm your thoughts. Try doing some breathing exercises or using acupressure points to decrease anxiety symptoms.
Next pay attention to your thoughts! If you are experiencing negative self talk,
Who can I talk to at school to help me with school related issues or mental health concerns?
If you find you need help while at school, know you have a whole community waiting to support you! Good resources can be your friends, trusted teachers, the school counselor and even admin staff.
*Don't hesitate to talk to someone if you feel like you need help. You can let your teacher know if you feel like you need to talk to the school counselor and they will help you connect with one.
What are some ways to calm myself down when I experience anxiety or depression symptoms during school?
There are many different tools to help you when you feel like you need to calm down or if you're experiencing depressive symptoms. Know that there isn't a one size fits all tool. Try a few different tools and see what works best for you. Here are some examples:
1. Journaling - writing about our feelings can help us process them.
2. Movement - exercise, dancing, running and even stretching can help us decrease anxiety and depressive feelings.
3. Talk about it - FInd a trusted friend, family or staff member to process your feelings.
4. Take care of yourself - Eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise can help you feel better!
Are there strategies I can use to calm myself down without anyone knowing or seeing me do this?
Breathing exercises are easy ways you can calm down without anyone noticing. A good rule of thumb is to remember to breathe out about 2x as long as you breathe in to help you relax.
What if I become nervous about the virus? What are some strategies to manage my fear?
First, talk about it! If you are feeling nervous it's ok to tell a friend or teacher that you're feeling that way. Next try using a calming technique to help you decrease some of the nervousness. Finally identify what's within your control. Focusing on what's within our control can help us feel more safe and comfortable.
In this case what's within your control can be:
1. Wearing your mask
2. Keeping social distance
3. Letting others know your comfort level
4. Taking a time out if you need to (let a teacher know if you need a time out or feel uncomfortable).
I feel so overwhelmed with my grades, I am lost on grade recovery and making up assignments, who do I talk with about this?
First take a deep breath! It's ok to feel overwhelmed right now and very normal. Identify a trusted adult (school counselors are great for this!) to help you create a plan to get back on track. They can also help you work through any feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment, anxiety and overwhelm that you may feel related to your grades.