It’s the week of first days this week – first day back at school, first day at College or Uni for some, and first day with empty nest syndrome for others. So in this article, I want to talk about how to handle first day nerves and keep control of your anxiety.
First day nerves we have all had them and I remember them well. The anxiety would creep in the night before, and I could not sleep, and then I would panic about not sleeping and I wouldn’t sleep because I was panicking about not sleeping and….. it was a viscous cycle.
Perhaps you will experience something similar this week, whether you’re the one heading into your first week somewhere or you’re the parent of someone who might be dealing with this. Below are my my top three ways of how you can handle things.
Make friends with your nerves and anxiety.
Yes you read that correctly, make friends with your nerves and anxiety. What I mean by this, is that you are supposed to experience a certain amount of nerves and anxiety when approaching a situation that is new and different. Accept this, make friends with your anxiety, because when we try to be confident, act confident, and deny or repress our fear, nerves and anxiety those feelings try to push through stronger. Acknowledge their presence and thank your mind for doing its best to protect you, as the subconscious mind is simply trying to protect you,
One way to do this is to literally have a chat with your subconscious mind, or write it a letter, let it know that you are thankful that it is there to protect you but that you have got this and are more than capable of handling things.
Explore your first day fears
What exactly is it that you are nervous about or scared of? Grab a journal and write these things down and explore your first day fears. As in step one above, this is about not repressing the fears, and giving them space to be real. This also helps you to come face to face with them, to actualise them and make them real. And then you can explore all of the ways that you could handle the situation if your fear became a reality.
Have a plan of action and implement it
Have ideas in your mind, or written down on paper on what you would do if the worst case scenario happened for you. It could be that you take your headphones and if you find yourself sat on your lunch break with nobody talking to you, that you pop on your headphones and listen to a meditation audio on an app like Headspace.
Keep ideas like this in your action plan, take tools such as a book with you, and that way, rather than feel, lost and go into panic mode, you will keep your calm and know exactly what you need to do should the situation create panic for you.
Remember, you’re not the only person who will be experiencing first day panic, pretty much everyone else around you in a new situation will be experiencing it too, so rather than focus on how you are feeling, turn your attention outwards and ask other people how they are feeling, this can be a great way to break the ice and form friendships, and other people might be thankful that you are there for them.
All the best for this week of first days, see them for what they are and do your best to enjoy them, but remember, we all feel nervous on our first day, so allow the experience to be what it is, and take mental snapshots of all of the new memories,
As always I am here to talk to if the anxiety just becomes too much for you, you can book a free one to one call with me here,
I will speak to you again soon, have an amazing week.
Christopher Paul Jones.