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You might know the feeling; your body tenses up, you feel a bit sick, your thoughts race in your head and you start to get irritable as you think about the day ahead.

Anxiety is a common feeling many of us experience. Whether it’s the fear of failing a test, a specific social situation, or feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities, it can be difficult and challenging. But it’s important to know that there are ways to manage these feelings and have a successful and enjoyable school day.

Coping with before-school anxiety

1. Create a positive morning routine: Start your day with activities that make you feel good, such as listening to your favourite music, meditating, or spending time with your pets.
2. Practice deep breathing: It sounds too simple, right? But deep breathing can help reduce stress and calm your mind. Take slow, deep breaths, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this for a few minutes each morning before school.
3. Get enough sleep: Did you know lack of sleep can increase anxiety and stress levels? Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night and find a nightly bedtime routine that works for you.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast: It’s true, a nutritious breakfast can help you feel more energised and focused throughout the day. Sugary foods and drinks can cause spikes in energy levels followed by crashes, so try to avoid these!
5. Exercise: Did you know physical activity releases endorphins, aka natural mood boosters? Try incorporating exercise into your morning routine, whether it’s a yoga session, a quick run or stretching exercises.
6. Write down your thoughts: Writing down what’s causing your anxiety can help you understand your feelings and what might be causing them. Try writing a journal each morning before school to help clear your mind, manage your thoughts and focus on the day ahead. 
7. Talk to someone: Whether it’s a teacher,  guidance officer, psychologist, social worker, youth worker or family member, talking to a trusted adult can help you manage your feelings and find solutions. Kids Helpline is also available when you need support. Remember, help is always there when you need it! 

Feeling anxious before school is completely normal, but you can take steps towards managing it. By focusing on self-care, reaching out for help, and establishing positive habits, you can put strategies in place that will help you have a successful and enjoyable school day. If these strategies aren’t working and you are feeling anxious frequently in a range of situations, talk to a trusted adult  or reach out for support.