It’s that time of year again – the back-to-school season! For some students, this can be a time of excitement and anticipation. But for others, it can be a time for anxiety and overwhelm. If you’re a parent of a young student, you may be having trouble with them refusing to go to school due to anxiety. Or, if you are an older student you might not be attending school or skipping classes because of your social anxiety.
Returning to school after a long summer can be difficult for many students, especially if they have struggled with transitioning back into school in the past. In this blog post, we will discuss how to use the TIPP skill to conquer anxiety and overwhelm in school!
What is the TIPP Skill?
Everyone gets overwhelmed and anxious at times. However, “big” or severe anxiety may require you to learn different skills to cope when you feel anxiety set in. The TIPP skill is a great tool for when intense anxiety or overwhelm hits. TIPP stands for temperature, intense exercise, paced breathing, and paired muscle relaxation.
These three things work together to help calm the body’s fight-or-flight response. Which leads to reduced anxiety. It’s a skill that comes from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) which is a therapy that is used to help manage difficult situations and overwhelming emotions. TIPP is a skill based on DBT practices to help reduce anxiety and help you manage situations that can make you overwhelmingly anxious.
For the temperature part of the TIPP skill, it’s important to stay cool as it can help prevent the body’s fight-or-flight response. This can be done by drinking cool water, using a fan, or taking a cold shower. Even though it may seem silly, putting an icepack on your chest can also be helpful. It decreases body temperature and has a calming effect.
The intense exercise part of the TIPP skill is important because it helps to release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals in the brain. This can be anything from going on a run, doing some jumping jacks, or playing a sport. When endorphins are released they will make you feel better and help to reduce anxiety. For example, if you’re feeling anxious about a test, going for a brisk walk beforehand can help to reduce that anxiety.
Paced breathing helps to regulate your body’s fight-or-flight response. When we are anxious, our breathing becomes shallow and fast. Which can lead to you feeling more anxiety. Paced breathing helps you slow down your breathing and make it more regular. This can be done by breathing in for four counts and then out for four counts. Repeat this four times for a total of 16 counts. This can be beneficial to do before an anxiety-provoking event, such as a presentation or a test.
Paired Muscle Relaxation
The last part of the TIPP skill is paired muscle relaxation. This is where you will tense and relax different muscles. While sitting or lying down, tense each muscle group in your body for four counts. Then relax for four counts. Start with your toes and work your way up to your head. For example, if you’re tensing your toes, scrunch them up as tight as you can for four counts. Then relax them for four counts. This helps you increase your awareness of your body and relax the muscles.
How Can this Help Students with Anxiety?
The TIPP skill is a great DBT based skill to use when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. You can use it to calm yourself down in the moment. Or, you can practice it ahead of time so that you’re prepared for when anxiety hits. Perhaps, you know you have to give a presentation in front of the class and it makes you anxious. You can practice the TIPP skill ahead of time to prepare yourself.
First, you can drink some cool water or put cool water from a sink on your face. Second, do some jumping jacks or run in place to release endorphins. Third, regulate your breathing using paced breathing. Finally, do some muscle relaxation by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your body.
You Don’t Have to Be Held Back by Anxiety
This skill can even be helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed with school work. When you’re overwhelmed with school work, you can take some time to do an activity that will release endorphins such as listening to music, going for a run, or playing a sport. Taking some time for yourself will help reduce the anxiety you’re feeling and help you be more focused when you go back to your work.
When using the TIPP skill, it’s important to remember that you might not need to use all four parts. If only one or a few work for you, that’s okay. The most important part is that you find something that works for you and you continue to practice it. However, if the TIPP skill doesn’t seem to work for you, there are other skills that can help with anxiety and overwhelm. An anxiety therapist can help you find ways to manage your anxiety. You don’t have to go through this on your own!
Begin Anxiety Counseling with a Teen Therapist in Roswell, GA
At Wellview Counseling, our therapists understand transitioning back to school can be difficult for anyone. Especially, if you struggle with anxiety. We are here to help you or your child every step of the way. To begin managing your anxiety, you can follow these steps:
- Contact Wellview Counseling
- Meet with one of our caring anxiety therapists
- Gain support and skills to conquer anxiety and overwhelm in school!
Other Services Offered at Wellview Counseling
Our therapists offer a wide range of therapy services to support you and your loved ones through anything they may be struggling with. And, we also offer counseling for a wide range of ages too! We know anxiety may not be the only struggle you have. You may be struggling with past trauma that is causing your anxiety. Or, perhaps you’re dealing with depression because your social anxiety causes you to isolate from others.
The counselors on our team work with children, teens, young adults, and older adults as well. So, no matter what you are going through, we are here to give you support. We offer in-person counseling at our practice located in Roswell, Georgia. However, we can also see clients from anywhere in Georgia through online counseling. We’re happy to be the place for your healing and growth!