How to Use Your L&B Tools to Battle Back-to-School Anxiety
It’s August, so that means it’s time to head back to school! For parents, the start of the school year can be an exciting time because it means there’s less time laying around the house or looking for things to do. For kids, however, the start of the school year can lead to feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and maybe even dread. At L&B, we work with our clients to learn coping tools that alleviate anxiety in all situations. Here are some tools that can be used while you and the kiddos are preparing to head back to school:
The Double Breath: The double breath is a great way to recenter yourself and slow your brain down when negative emotions begin to spiral. Here’s how you do the double breath:
Take a deep breath in.
Take another sip of air on top of the first.
Hold the breath for a few seconds, and release.
You should feel a sense of relaxation following this exercise.
Square/Box Breathing: This technique works similarly to the double breath, but with slight changes. Here’s how it works:
Imagine a square, or find a square in the space around you.
Trace your eyes along the top of the square and take a deep breath in for a count of 4.
Take a slow breath out along the side of the square.
Repeat steps 2-3 along the bottom and opposite side of the square.
The Grounding Technique or 54321: Grounding techniques are useful for moments of anxiety, anger, sadness, or to help with symptoms associated with dissociation. Grounding helps you pull yourself away from the negative emotions and thoughts in your head, and instead reconnect with your physical surroundings. Here’s how you do the 54321 grounding technique:
Identify 5 things that you can see. Say them out loud.
Identify 4 things that you can touch or feel. Reach out and touch something near you.
Identify 3 things you can hear.
Identify 2 things you can smell.
Identify 1 thing you can taste.
You can create a little coping toolkit with one thing for each sense to help you ground yourself in moments when you feel stressed.
The next time you’re in session, ask your therapist to practice these techniques with you so you can feel prepared to jump back into your school routine!
Written by Imani Crawford, LCSWA