Back-to-school Tips for Youth with OCD

1. Reach out to your teachers in advance if you’re comfortable.

The best way to communicate your needs, discuss expectations, and to ease your anxiety ahead of time is to reach out to your teachers in advance. More tips on talking to your teachers about anxiety and OCD.

Tip 1

2. Consider a low-level exposure for back to school.

Going back to school is the perfect opportunity to try some low level exposure. Some examples may be wearing a silly T-shirt, or saying hello to three new people.

Tip 2

3. Identify potential new triggers.

Different things can trigger our anxiety, and it's important to recognize those triggers and to deal with them. Practice breathing in and out and taking a break from the activity. Implement the skills and techniques you’ve learned in therapy. You can also talk to a trusted adult or teacher about what you are feeling.

Tip 3

4. Aim for progress, not perfection.

Perfectionism can be a feature of OCD and a blocker to making progress. Focus more on the effort, the hard work, and the perseverance it took to start and finish your homework or class project. 

Tip 4

5. Be kind to yourself! It’s a stressful time.

Going back to school can be stressful, but it’s important to remember that you are trying your best and to be good to yourself by giving yourself grace. 

Tip 5


As you get through this back-to-school time, remind yourself:

  • There’s no such thing as a dangerous thought.
  • I am not my thoughts.
  • “School might be tough, but I am tougher!”
  • I am enough.
  • Every day is a new day to try again.


Our Work Young Person with anxiety jumping over a ball
Our Work Young people with OCD helping each other
Our Work Teacher looking up info on OCD