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Strategies for Managing Anxiety in Academic Settings

Managing anxiety in academic settings can be tough, but there are many proven strategies that can be used to help relieve and cope with academic-related anxiety.

  1. Time Management. Have a planned studying and homework schedule that you stick to the same way you stick to any other appointment. Write it in your planner, add it to your Google calendar, and set the focus time on your phone. AI is your friend here!! It can help you break your assignments and studying into smaller, less intimidating tasks you're less likely to procrastinate on and therefore experience reduced pressure.

  2. Set Realistic Goals. We see this in our practice far too often. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. You are not perfect. No one is perfect. The meaning of life is to learn and grow, and no one could do that without making mistakes or failing many, many, many times. The more times you try, the more times you fail, the more information and experience you have to make a better choice next time. Give yourself a break!

  3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices. None of us like to hear this, but it's true that healthy choices for our body equal healthy choices for our mind. Maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindful relaxation techniques are going to make you feel better. They just are. As annoying as that is. (Bonus points for turning off screens an hour before bed).

  4. Learn studying, test-taking, and organization strategies. Learn how to take effective notes, be an active participant in your learning experience, use tools to manage deadlines, assignments, and exams, and use test-taking strategies like reading questions carefully and tackling easier questions first.

  5. Seek Support. If you're feeling overwhelmed, tell your family, tell your friends, tell your teachers, tell your therapist. Verbalizing the things you're worried about is therapeutic and helps lead to solutions and improved mood.

Now that you have a few ideas at your disposal, it's time to take action. Start by implementing one or two of these techniques into your daily routine (or even just one tiny piece of one technique!). Whether it's setting up a structured study schedule, setting realistic goals, or making healthier lifestyle choices, pick one strategy to learn about and practice... and then stick to it.

Remember, you don't have to face academic anxiety alone. Seek support from friends, family, teachers, and professionals when needed. Your mental well-being is just as important as your academic success, so prioritize self-care and seek help when you need it.

Managing anxiety in academic settings is about creating a positive and supportive environment for yourself. Embrace the learning process, celebrate your achievements, and don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go perfectly. With determination, you can conquer academic anxiety and thrive in your educational journey.

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