Students across Montana are preparing for the new school year, which can bring a multitude of stressors. Getting into a new routine, assignments, and social pressure from peers can become very stressful for students starting any new grade.

Connections Academy says some of the symptoms of stress in school could be anything from trouble sleeping, headaches, mood swings, acting out, becoming withdrawn, and having difficulty concentrating. While being stressed is not ideal, it can be a good thing in some ways. It can also help students find a way to manage stress during school that can help them later on as adults. Here are a few tips to help manage stress during the school year.

One way to manage stress for elementary school students is to listen to music. They could start with fun, upbeat music when getting ready for school and switch to classical music to help concentrate when doing school work. There are also a few games to play after school to help decompress from the day. Activities could include going on a walk, painting, organizing their toys or making a snack, and talking about their day with family. Other activities could include playing board games, play-doh, and yoga to help relax their body and mind. 

For students in middle school, it can be hard to navigate harder classes and under social pressure from other students. A good thing to practice is asking for help in school, whether with classes or on a social level. Some students are shy and may have difficulty speaking up in class when they don’t understand something. A good way to combat this is to make different scenarios they may run into in school. It’s also a good idea to get plenty of sleep during the school week; most kids aged 6-13 should get 9-11 hours, and teenagers should get at least 8 hours. 

A few tips for high school students is to practice time management with school assignments. Planning out a schedule to do assignments, extracurriculars, and other tasks can help them stay on track. For big projects, set mini goals to avoid procrastination and getting overwhelmed. Creating a checklist and celebrating goals can help reassure them when stressed out and motivate them for the rest of the week. It may also be helpful to get involved with the community, whether getting a part-time job after school, becoming a club member, or volunteering at a local nonprofit. Being a part of something can connect students with social groups and make them feel they play an important role in society. 

Check-in with your kids during the school year to see how they feel and help overcome obstacles they may encounter.