How to Ease First Day Jitters

New beginnings can be uncomfortable, even if you’re able to predict what they may look like. Thinking about an upcoming first day of school might stir up some inner anxiety from within. Remind yourself that this is normal. However, there are simple tactics that could help you cope with your stress and allow it to flow without unwanted resistance of negative emotions. Below are some of our favorites. 


Mindful Breathing

When things get tough and you feel yourself being swept off of your feet, it might be time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and shift your focus back to the present moment. A simple way to do this is to first inhale through your nostrils for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 2 seconds, and finally release and exhale for 4 seconds. You can return to this exercise however many times you need during the day, especially at peak moments of anxiety and stress. The best part about this technique is that you can do it anywhere and only need you to do it!


Compassion Scan 

This is not some type of new technology, but a way that could help ease your stress by shifting your attention to others around you. A compassion scan is a scan you can do wherever you are. First, start by picturing in your head what stressors could be bothering people around you. Try and remember that this is not only your first day, but all of your classmates. Most, if not all your classmates are likely to be experiencing the same emotions. By keeping that in mind, you can step out of an isolated negative emotion into a supported sense of belonging. 


Start A Conversation

While this might be the last thing you want to do in a jittery moment on the first day of school, it could help you and someone else, too. Stir up conversation and ask how their summer went, or what their class schedule looks will help you to lose some of the anxiety you may be feeling. Although you may feel uncomfortable, push yourself outside of your comfort zone.


The first day of anything can be filled with the inevitable discomfort of unfamiliarity. Predicting said discomfort and allowing it will make it go by a lot faster and easier than it would if you resist it, and by doing so, create more negative emotions than the discomfort itself. As the first day of school approaches, keep in mind that you are not the sole student beginning a new adventure, nor are you the only one experiencing it with a bit of initial discomfort.