COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The new school year is well underway, but some children may find it difficult to adjust to the routine and new environment. Back-to-school anxiety does not only affect students on the first day of school, but it can also continue throughout the school year.

According to Matthew Elementary Counselor Juile Yerkes, anxiety looks different for each student. Some common signs to look out for are stomach aches right before school, trouble sleeping, headaches, and becoming unusually quiet. 

Yerkes shared with WRBL resources the Muscogee County School District has available for students dealing with any form of mental illness. 

“They can communicate with their child’s teacher to let them know that they’re struggling with some sort of uncertainties about coming to school. Their counselors are always willing to help them and to talk with them about anything that they may be feeling. A lot of times, if a child just talks about what they’re feeling, that can really help them in the day ahead”, shared Yerkes.

According to Caroline Lukano a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at New Horizon Behavioral Health, adopting a healthy routine, and teaching coping mechanisms are effective non-pharmacological ways to deal with anxiety. 

“Giving them tips like deep breathing exercises. We do also have music that they can use that can be used when they are feeling overly anxious and we also recommend journaling,” said Lukano. 

School officials encourage parents to reach out for help if the notice their child dealing with anxiety.