• katiemaddocks

Back to School: managing anxiety with mindfulness

September is the month of new beginnings - new uniform, new school bag, new classes and teachers, perhaps even a new school. Which is why so many students can feel a sense of anxiety for the beginning of this month and all that it brings.

When I look back at my own time at school, I have very mixed feelings. On one hand I absolutely loved learning and was quite academic, putting myself up for the 11+ and getting into the local grammar school from our very small village primary. I was popular and enjoyed the years throughout primary school.

But then came secondary school… and this was completely different.

I joined a brand-new school where I didn’t know anyone and many had come from private schools, unlike me. Although I was bright, I wasn’t used to the same level of academics that they were accustomed to and I really struggled with homework, calling my best friend every evening to discuss what I was meant to be doing. I had such low self-esteem, no confidence at all and became a bit of a target for stronger girls.

My point is, is that for many children school is not the safe and happy place that we paint it to be. Some children can really struggle at school for various reasons:

  • Pressure to keep up with their friends with schoolwork

  • Pressure from parents to achieve particular grades

  • Exam stress and anxiety

  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating in class

  • Relationship dynamics with friends, peers and teachers

  • Not feeling like they fit in

  • Additional needs such as ADHD, dyslexia

  • Experiencing or witnessing bullying

It is our job now as parents, care givers and education providers, to offer young people the support they so badly need to be able to handle the highs, lows and challenges that school can sometimes bring.

Meditation and mindfulness can help support children as they go through these important academic years, by helping them:

  • Release their worries and fears

  • Regulate their feelings and emotions

  • Improve their focus and concentration

  • Improve their sleep patterns & switch off after a busy day

  • Stay calm during exams and study periods

  • Not be too hard on themselves to be good at everything

  • Be confident in who they are

I am running a workshop next week on “Back to School”, looking at the meditation and mindfulness activities they can do before September and once school has started, to help release anxieties. This will be for anyone aged between 4 and 12 in the Colchester area.

Not local? I also run 1:1 sessions online.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about your child going back (or starting) school.

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