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Monday, August 7, 2017

First-Semester Stress: Coping With Anxiety Disorder at College

For some students, the first few weeks of the new school year are exciting. It’s a time to meet new friends, start new classes, and get back into the swing of things. But for people with anxiety disorders, the new school year can bring upon feelings of constant worry and fear. And this can happen before classes begin or well into the first half of the school year. 

Tips for Tackling Anxiety
Your first step in managing this back-to-school anxiety is to remind yourself that you’re not alone. According to Mental Health America (MHA), more than 21 percent of U.S. adults between ages 18 and 64 will have diagnosable anxiety disorders in a given year. To put things in perspective: That’s more than the number of people who subscribed to Netflix in 2015, notes MHA. 

Here’s a summary of some of MHA's go-to strategies for managing anxiety disorder. 
  • Reach out to someone you trust. Let them know that your anxiety has gotten the best of you and that you need support. That may mean asking them to talk you through it over the phone or to come over and keep you company while you work on putting your mind at ease. 
  • Get physical. Take a brisk walk, run up and down some stairs or do a few jumping jacks. Give your body a way to use up some of the nervous energy. 
  • Find a healthy distraction. Play scrabble on your smartphone or try an adult coloring book. Repetitive actions can have a calming effect similar to meditation.
  • Breathe deeply. Try this technique: Lie on your back and breathe in through your nose, watching your belly rise as you inhale. Hold your breath for a few seconds then exhale deeply through your mouth, watching your belly fall as you exhale. Repeat until you feel yourself relax. 
  • Focus on things you can control. Organize your desk, write down your weekly to-do list, pick out your clothes for the week – taking care of small tasks can help empower you to take control of your anxiety. 
  • Avoid the shame game. Telling yourself that you’re being unreasonable will only further fuel your anxiety. It’s okay to feel anxious and stressed and scared – but do your best to accept those feelings and then take action to feel better. 
Help for Anxiety Disorder and Addiction
If you're struggling with a dual diagnosis or substance abuse disorder, embrace a new beginning at Hope Academy Rehab. When you trust us with your recovery, you don’t have to leave college behind or put career preparation on hold. We offer vocational training, college prep, and sobriety college options that allow you to pursue your dreams while you get clean. Call today: 866-930-4673. 

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