Six Steps On How To Calm An Anxiety Attack

By Sarah Fader

Updated December 05, 2018

Reviewer Deborah Horton


Even though summer has just started, the truth of the matter is, the next school year is just around the corner. For many kids, this is exciting. For some, especially high school students, this time is highly stressful.

It seems there is too much on the shoulders of high school students today. Parents and teachers alike agree that students at all age levels are being over-tested. High-stakes testing in high school takes hours and sometimes days out of valuable class time. These tests, while standards oriented, sometimes have little to do with content and context of the classroom.

Add this to the increasing social demands brought on by social media, as well as the more traditional demands of extra-curricular activities and sports, and even students who are not prone to anxiety or panic attacks can feel the pressure. With many schools requiring summer reading, plus math and science packets, the summer vacation, is not much of one.

Healthy Break

Parents want the best for their children, they want them to succeed academically. Part of this success may well rely on taking a healthy break from the demands of 180 days of school. In many states, summer break has gone from three full months to less than two. So, the need for summer reading and keeping up with math and science skills may not be as critical as they once were. Students need a break from school just like their teachers do, and just like their parents do when they take vacations. It is okay to take a brain break. In reality, the brain is not really on break, it is still learning, and it is possible to expose children and teens to learning opportunities without making them anxiety-riddled activities.


For those teens and children who are prone to anxiety, the month of July with back to school ads playing on television and displayed on their computers, it is enough to bring on the anxiety. If there has not been much of a break from television, computers, or video games, these kids could experience a panic attack because they realize they have not experienced summer!

Experiencing Summer to Reduce Anxiety

It is important for kids to have a summer break, even if it does not include a big vacation trip. Everything kids do for the summer, even video games, can be an important part of summer if taken in moderation. It is important to get outside, it is even important to sleep late sometimes. Most teens especially love to sleep. Getting a summer job is also a good way to spend the summer, and to make some money to spend on summer fun. To help kids ease anxiety related to the start of the school year… make sure they are experiencing a summer break.

Some easy reminders:

  1. Don't sleep the summer away.
  2. Don't game the summer away.
  3. Get a part-time job - even if that is a volunteer job or chores around the house.
  4. Spend time outside every day.
  5. Spend time with family.
  6. Recognize that the start of the school year is a positive thing, a fresh start.


Even though kids may not think of it in these terms, when they wake up in August or September on that first day of school and realize that they did not actually experience summer, it is likely to cause some level of anxiety. Simply not being in school is not a summer vacation. So, make sure your kids are doing something every day that is meaningful. Keep them busy, so that the start of school is less likely to cause anxiety.

If your child or teen is prone to anxiety he or she may need to talk to someone. The qualified licensed therapists and counselors at can provide resources, ideas for summer fun, and an outlet for your teen to talk. Summer should not be spent feeling anxious about its end, but for kids who are prone to anxiety, especially if there are academic expectations placed on them for the break, having someone available to talk to through the familiar medium of the internet can be very helpful.

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