How Back to School Can Worsen Mental Health

Luckily, we can help!

Going back to school can bring students a new set of mental health challenges. School can be stressful. It can be especially jarring to return to a structured educational environment post-summer. Let’s consider what to remember at the start of the school year this fall and beyond.

Academic Stress

Academic stress can contribute to an increased risk of experiencing anxiety and depression, and can impact well-being too. This can create a cycle, as students who experience these types of struggles might be challenged to perform academically, and not reach their full potential. All students are susceptible to experiencing stress, no matter what the circumstances may be. Some of the most common causes of stress related to school are lack of preparation, excessive homework, busy schedules, pressure to achieve high grades, and even poor diet and lack of sleep. When this stress becomes chronic, it can lead to poor sleep, contribute to the risk of developing anxiety and depression, an increased propensity to use substances and alcohol, and poor academic performance. As we can see, some of these symptoms are the same as some of the causes, showing that academic stress can lead to an unfortunate cycle.

How to Handle Stress

There are multiple methods for dealing with stress. One skill that can be very beneficial is social-emotional learning (SEL). This process develops self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that lend themselves to school, work, and life success. Developing these skills can be highly beneficial for dealing with academic stress. It can also be helpful to practice forgiveness with yourself and look at your mistakes as opportunities to learn. Beyond that, self-care is another fantastic way to manage stress. This can mean getting at least seven hours of sleep, exercising, and spending time with friends. Yoga is one example of an exercise that works great for self-care and mindfulness. As always, we also recommend seeking out mental health treatment if they are indicated. If you are a student or know a student who is struggling with academic stress, speaking with professionals can be a highly beneficial method for alleviating these issues.

At SOL Mental Health, we know being a student can come along with significant stress. We offer an array of mental health services to aid with various mental health struggles. Whether you are interested in individual therapy or something else, we are here for you. We believe that good mental health is an essential aspect of overall health. We hope to help you out this school year and in the future with whatever stressors you may be experiencing and are here as a resource when you need us.

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