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How to Manage End of School Year Stress

Final assignments, big tests, and the anxiety associated with upcoming summer plans

can all have a big impact on parents, teachers, and students. Learn what you can do to

better manage end of school year stress and get ready for summer.

Student stressed sitting in front of bookshelf

4 ways you can better manage stress

It’s no secret that school activities pile up during this time of year for students, teachers,

and parents. To keep yourself stress-free, consider:

1. Sticking to a schedule – Don’t add activities to an already packed end of year

agenda. Figure out what takes priority and plan accordingly. You’ll feel better

setting boundaries.

2. Planning early – Coordinate activities with work requirements, social obligations

and personal commitments in advance. Finding the right balance and knowing

what’s coming ahead of time will help ease some of the stress you may be


3. Communicating often – Whether you’re a teacher, parent or student,

communication is key to ensure your obligations are met. You can even set up

weekly emails or phone calls with the school, work, or other parents to keep the

lines of communication open.

4. Scaling back activities – it’s ok to say no or to sit some things out. Figure out

what’s most important to you and prioritize from there. You don’t need to do


“Make sure to set realistic expectations for yourself regarding work performance and

have some sort of routine or game plan on how you can meet end of year deadlines,”

Erin Cameron-Webb, a Licensed Master Social Worker at Nurture and Nature Therapy

Center explains. “Also, know what coping skills to use when you experience stress or

any other 'uncomfortable' emotion. This can also help in managing anxiety in the future

and also help with creating the consistency you need in order to feel safe and


How do you know if you’re stressed?

Stress looks different for everyone and your response to stress may be different than

someone else’s. “Some normal responses to stress that I’ve seen include crying, yelling, and an increase or decrease in sleep,” Erin says, “There can also be changes in appetite which can

translate to significant weight gain or loss.

Here are a few other symptoms of stress to look for:

  • Headaches

  • Muscle tension or pain

  • Sadness or depression

  • Mood swings

  • Using drugs or alcohol to cope If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or feel you need help, call your health

professional immediately. They can help evaluate your situation and give you the tools

you need to cope with any stress or anxiety you may be feeling.

Schools can help relieve stress too!

As anxiety and other mental health issues continue to rise, particularly in kids and

teens, it may be time for the schools to consider helping parents, teachers and students

adjust to the end- of- year mayhem. You can encourage your school district to help

during this stressful time of year by:

  • Offering frequent breaks for students and teachers.

  • Showing teachers and students extra appreciation with breakfasts, cards or other small treats.

  • Encouraging everyone to manage their physical health as well as their mental and emotional health.

  • Keeping communication channels open so kids, teachers and parents have someone to turn to if they feel overwhelmed.

Even though this may be a stressful time of year, remember that it is short lived. Rely on

friends, family, other parents and co-workers to help you finish the school year strong

and to prepare for all the summer fun that lies ahead.

 “Overall, remind yourself that just because you are stressed or uncomfortable right now

does not mean it will stay like this forever or even that what you are feeling is bad,” Erin

adds, ”Remember that it’s during these hard times where we can experience major

growth and also build better resiliency and tolerance to stress.”

Written and edited by Kimberly Nelson

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