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Build Better Self-Esteem as Students Return to School

Returning to school after a fun-filled summer can bring on feelings of excitement, anxiety and even fear. Depending on the age of the student, they may have grown several inches, experienced acne for the first time or have glasses. All of these changes, can take a toll on their self-esteem.

Here are valuable tips for students that can improve their self-esteem as they move into the school year.

8 Tips for Students

  1. Remove negative thoughts. Try and identify any negative language you say to yourself, such as “I am fat” or “I am dumb”. Replace those thoughts and words with positive thoughts such as “I am perfect the way I am” or “I am smart”. It has been proven over and over again that positive thoughts lead to words and actions that are also positive.

  2. Take a break from it all. Sometime during the course of your busy day, sit peacefully and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing and think about the three things you appreciate about yourself. If possible, do this outside where you can feel one with nature.

  3. Avoid comparing yourself to others. You are unique and have strengths that no one else in your class does. Work on your strengths and stop comparing yourself to others – especially models in the magazines or on the Internet.

  4. Find supportive friends. Hang around people who will build you up, not tear you down. When things go wrong (and they will), you want friends that will be sympathetic to your frustrations and help sort through positive options.

  5. Report any bullying immediately. Whether it is via a text or a comment at school, bullying can be a major deterrent to building up your esteem. Don’t let it go on, because it will only get worse. Report it to the principal or a favorite teacher. All public schools in Portage County have a zero-tolerance toward bullying.

  6. Exercise, eat right and get enough sleep. Jolting yourself into a new school schedule can take a toll when you have been used to sleeping in and eating junk food most of the summer. Try and get eight hours of sleep, keep hydrated with water and get at least 30-minutes of exercise every day.

  7. Be kind to others. Sometimes the best thing for our self-esteem is to be kind to others. For ideas about ways to do something special, check out the Random Acts of Kindness website and choose one or two from the list.

  8. Get involved at school. Whether it is running track or playing in the marching band, it is important to be involved in at least one activity at school. You will meet new friends and develop a common bond.

The Mental Health and Recovery Board Can Help

If you are parent or educator and worried about the mental well being of a child or teenager, please review this checklist. If the child can benefit from mental health services, please call us at 330.673.1756 and a you will be put in touch with a mental health provider.

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