Whether your campus is reopening in the fall or your school is keeping classes online, back to school comes with its fair share of stress. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy things you can do to get your mind ready to transition back into the school year. From stress management to taking care of your immunity, here are some strategies that will help you feel up to the task when fall semester comes around.
Stick to a Routine
While the summer can be a great time to let loose and sleep in late, as the new school year approaches, it may be a good idea to ease yourself back into a healthy routine. Structuring your day can reduce stress and help you feel more productive and focused, which in turn will make it easier to tackle your class schedule. Make time to eat real, healthy meals, do some exercise you enjoy and, importantly, get a proper night’s sleep. Stress and sleep are closely related, so try your best to get between 7 and 9 hours every night. If you can go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, even better.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Once you’ve gotten into a routine that works for you, try implementing healthy habits into your everyday that will help you calm the jitters of a new school year. Reishi powder is a great ingredient to have in your arsenal, thanks to its adaptogenic effects that help you deal with stress. Add it to drinks, smoothies and all your favorite recipes — like these Reishi ramen eggs. Some other ways to fight anxiousness might be to meditate, exercise, dance, read, call a friend...
Give Your Brain a Boost
If you’re worried about feeling sluggish in the lead-up to fall semester, it may be a good idea to add a nootropic to your daily routine — that is, a natural substance that enhances brain activity. When it comes to nootropics, among the best in class is Lion’s Mane mushroom. Known as the “smart mushroom,” Lion’s Mane has been shown to support neurological and cognitive health and can even synthesize NGF (nerve growth factor) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. In powder form, add it to all your favorite drinks and recipes, like this delicious avocado toast. You can also take it in capsule form if this works better with your lifestyle. For a combination of brain-supporting herbs and nootropics, check out Om Mushroom Superfood Brain Fuel+, which contains Lion’s Mane, rhodiola and other superfoods. Taking Lion’s Mane can help you focus and concentrate, and therefore learn more effectively. Once again, when it comes to keeping your brain active, exercise is effective, as are sleeping well, mindfulness, laughing with friends and all the other little things that keep you at your healthiest.
Keep Your Immunity Strong
It’s all connected! Stress can impact your immunity, and getting sick right before school starts can definitely amp up your stress levels. That’s why it’s important to take care of your immune system, so that you can better avoid infections. Your diet is especially important to safeguard your immunity, so make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits and veggies, as well as healthy fats from foods like avocado and sunflower seeds. Functional mushrooms can also help you keep in tip-top shape thanks to their immune-supporting properties — try integrating Chaga into your routine to reap its anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory benefits.
Back to school is a nerve-wracking time, but getting your mind ready isn’t as difficult as you might think. As long as you’re taking good care of yourself and keeping your stress levels in check, you’ll be all set for another exciting year of learning and new experiences.
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based writer and editor with 6 years of experience creating content for various outlets. Her work has appeared in InStyle, Stylist, SheKnows, Cosmopolitan, POPSUGAR, Her Campus and more.