10 tips for overcoming back-to-campus anxiety

Monday 20th September 2021

Written by Rebecca Collins (Disability and Well-being Advisor)

Bloomsbury Institute is returning to campus on September 2021. Does this make you excited, nervous or unsure? There is no right answer and it’s ok to feel uncertain or anxious. You won’t be the only one with mixed feelings.

You may have worries about travelling, health, mask wearing, socialising or just prefer a quieter life.

Here are 10 tips to cope with anxiety about returning to campus:

  1. Acceptance. Accept that it’s ok to feel this way and remember that many others will be feeling the same
  2. Self-compassion. This can give us the resilience we need to cope with stressful life events. Check how self-compassionate you are with this quiz and learn how to build resilience
  3. Take it easy. It can take time to readjust so keep things simple to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Humans can often struggle with change, so build up slowly at your own pace until you feel comfortable
  4. Develop positive coping tactics. Use these whenever you start to feel anxious. Breathing techniques are very effective and can be done anywhere without anyone noticing. Try this one from Headspace or this Grounding Technique
  5. Be prepared. What’s worrying you the most? Try writing these down. If you can, plan for these. What could you do to help you to cope?
  6. Self-care. These small steps won’t remove the cause of the anxiety but can help you to cope. Reducing alcohol and caffeine are good places to start.
  7. Sleep.  We are all different and need different amounts of sleep, but research shows that between seven and eight hours a day is ideal for 95% of us. Even small amounts of sleep deprivation have a negative impact on our health, wellbeing and cognitive abilities. It’s so bad that Amnesty International list it as a form of torture. If you have trouble sleeping, The Sleep Council and The Sleep Charity can help you understand and resolve any issues
  8. Talk to someone you trust. This can really help ease the pressure. You may find they have similar concerns and can offer support and understanding. If you’d rather, talk to a professional for confidential advice and remember Disability and Wellbeing and the Success Champions are here to help
  9. Reframe your thoughts. Remember that your thoughts are simply electro-chemical impulses in your brain and are not facts. They can be very unhelpful and unkind. Try to reframe the thoughts to help you manage anxiety.
  10. Digital detox. Knowledge is power but too much can increase feelings of anxiety and depression. We may try to feel in control by watching every social media or news update but the mass of misinformation online, together with our natural tendency to focus on negative information, can leave us feeling more vulnerable. Just switch off for a while.

Bloomsbury Institute have partnered with Talkcampus to provide free and confidential peer support for our students. It isn’t a replacement for counselling, but you can talk anonymously about your worries any time of the day or night with students from all over the world. No judgements. No bullying. Just people who get you.

Bloomsbury Institute is striving to keep our community safe and you can find out more about how we’re doing that here. If you have any other concerns, please contact our Disability Office (disability@bil.ac.uk)  or Student Engagement, Well-being and Success (SEWS) team (sews@bil.ac.uk).

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