August 12, 2022

3 Things To Carry In Your Backpack That Will Improve Your Mental Health

Are you ready to head back to school?

You may be looking forward to seeing old friends you didn’t get to spend time with over the summer, or you’re hoping to make new friends on the first day. Maybe you want to know who your new teachers will be, or you’re excited about an upcoming transition.

But is all the expected excitement suddenly filling you with a little anxiety? That’s normal.

As eventful as going back to school can be, it can also be stressful. Maybe you worry about making friends at your new school. Or perhaps you fear encountering bullies. You may even be concerned that you’ll get lost on campus.

You’re not alone in the way you feel. Chances are that other kids feel the same way. To help calm your excitement and ease stress, you may find that preparing your backpack before the first day will help.

Hand sanitizer? Check. Snacks? Check. Pencil case? Check. Small first aid kit? Laptop, tablet, charger? Check. Check. Check. What you carry in your backpack depends on what you find essential to get you through the school day. And it will mostly depend on what grade you’re in.

However, to be fully prepared for a new school year, you need to look beyond what’s in your physical backpack. What you carry mentally matters too. Here’s what you should keep in your emotional and mental backpack to help you deal with common back-to-school pressures.  


Being empathic can help you conquer bullies. And how you react to a bully can make all the difference. Remember that the reason why the bully behaves the way they do is not your fault. Their anger, frustration, and confusion are their own. Use empathy to boost your sense of calm and awareness and remove yourself from a potentially emotionally and physically abusive situation.  


Be aware of your emotional stressors and triggers. Understand what increases your feelings of anxiety and tune into your ability to calm yourself. If you start to feel emotionally overwhelmed at some point in the day, don’t ignore it. Take a moment for yourself. Find someplace quiet and reflect on your feelings.


As with all things in life, not everything will go as you want them to. Your best friend may not have the same classes as you, you may not get the teacher you wanted, and assigned seating may keep you from your favorite spot in the classroom. Rather than dwell on the things that didn’t turn out the way you would have preferred, focus on the positive. Remain optimistic that some things may not go according to plan because better things are up ahead.

Yes, getting good grades should be at the front of your mind when you’re in school. But one of the things we also worry about most is maintaining good relationships with our peers. After all, keeping positive connections means minimizing toxic interactions and peer pressure. However, it’s also important to remember that you cannot control everything. Each person is responsible for their own happiness. And by carrying optimism, empathy, and self-awareness in your back-to-school “backpack,” you’ll be mentally and emotionally prepared to move forward with positivity.