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Back to school

On the bright side, however, we can look forward to crunchy leaves, hot chocolate and, if you celebrate it, Christmas.  

Some of us are coming back from holidays, others are returning to university, work, and school. It’s a bit of an upheaval for everyone. If you haven’t cleared out your school bag or washed your uniform, it might well be time to.  

Whilst I’m sure we’d all rather remain in sandals; a fresh start is upon us – whether we’re ready or not. Here’s some ways to make the most of the autumn transition.  

A welcome fresh start 

The seasons are changing, and so are you! You might have left your last day of term feeling a bit burnt out, and you might now be a bit overwhelmed with the thought of going back.  

Hopefully, you’ve had some time to rest and relax, and maybe even a holiday if you’re lucky.  

If you’re worried that once you get back to classes you’ll immediately get piled up with work, it might help to consider the change of season a clean slate – instead of returning to the same stresses you had at the end of term.  

The best way to welcome new beginnings is to organise yourself in advance – was there a piece of summer work you’ve been putting off? If you make sure to get ahead of schedule, you’ll get rid of your worries in advance.  

Your future self will thank you!  

Take it slowly… 

Another way of getting ahead of your worries is by looking after yourself.  

If you’re anything like me, you likely stopped setting your alarm over the summer and let yourself sleep instead. This is probably going to make early mornings quite a bit harder for the first few weeks of term. It’s really important to make sure you aren’t dragging yourself through the day on survival mode, which I struggled to recognise myself doing whilst I was at school. 

Make sure you get enough rest, which is not only sleep – allow yourself to unwind in the evenings

You’ve probably heard it a million times but making a routine really does help, especially after finishing off your work. You’ll feel accomplished, and ready to start the next day. You’ll find yourself worn out if you only rest on the weekends.  

Some ways to do this are making time for at least one hour a day of ‘you’ time – this can be absolutely anything you want it to be. One hour a day of your favourite tv show, doing a hobby or just physically resting will make your week much less of a drag, and it will give you something to look forward to every day.  

Another good way to keep on top of things is by staying in check with yourself. It’s easy to put your emotional wellbeing on the shelf when you know you’ve got to be present and alert all day.  

Get into the habit of asking yourself how you’re feeling at various points. Do you need anything? Do you need to get something off your chest? Keeping in touch with yourself can help you balance your school life with your home life and can help you stay collected during the day.  

Cherish it 

Yes, summer does come every year, but if you’re someone who’s not as keen on the colder months, you’re likely not looking forward to getting your big coat on. Before it gets chilly, make a list of the summer activities you want to do before school starts again, and try to complete them all! There might just be enough time… 

That way you’ll feel as though you’ve made the absolute most of your time away from school. Equally, if your idea of a valuable summer is just chilling out, make sure you really appreciate the freedom.  

It’s also important to claim your time off as your own. There is absolutely no pressure for you to do anything impressive – if you need to chill, then chill.  

Don’t feel guilty for staying inside, and don’t compare your summer to anyone else’s: everyone’s needs are different. You might not be a festival person, and that is totally okay.  

Try something new 

It’s a new chapter of your life! You might be on your way to sixth form, you might be about to start Uni – wherever you’re at, maybe try to switch things up a little bit to commemorate the seasons changing.  

This can be whatever you want it to be. It could be anything from a new haircut to starting yoga classes. I always try to start the season off with something new, however small. It’s almost like a spring clean, but for autumn. One of my favourite things to do is make a new playlist for the season.  

Going back to school can be really scary, exciting, and stressful all at once.  

It’s important to remember you’re not the only one who’s going to feel a bit unsettled for the first few weeks, and everyone gets back into the school routine at different paces. Remember that you’re not alone, there are always people around that can help you. 

If you’re really worried about going back to school, speak to someone you trust. Or look at our support for young people, under the resources menu.  

Thank you…

HUGE thanks to our guest blogger, Annabel Goddard, for using her own experience of school and uni life to advise some excellent ideas about how to adjust to the new term.

Support for you: 

  • Young Minds have support for young people and parents. Visit 
  • Call Samaritans for free 24/7 emotional support on 116 123 
  • Call Dorset’s mental health helpline Connection for support on NHS 111 
  • Text the word ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 for 24/7 support for young people and adults 
  • Call Childline free on 0800 1111 any time 
  • Call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 free. Lines are open from 11am to 11pm every day 

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Dorset Mind is a self-funded local charity that helps people in Dorset experiencing mental health problems access the vital support they need. The charity is at the very heart of our communities shaping futures, changing and in some cases literally saving lives.

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