Be kind to yourself is the advice from BACP member Andrea Hunt to pupils feeling anxious about returning to school.

Staff and students are beginning to return to schools, colleges and universities after the Christmas break and not everyone will be looking forward to being back in the classroom.

Andrea said: “It’s normal for people who have had a holiday to be feeling the holiday blues on the Monday back. Try not to get too down about it.

“A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions that are around what they want to do to make a change, but I don’t think people reflect properly on the past year, what was good about it and what to take forward.

“It becomes about the year ahead rather than recognising that there were some good learnings from last year.

“That can be why people get stuck in holiday blues.”

It can be a stressful period for students who will be sitting exams or working towards them later in the year.

But Andrea says more often than not, students have the tools to cope.

“A lot of people pick up on other people’s anxieties,” she said. “You can feel quite confident because you have done the right amount of preparation, but then other people start saying ‘what if’ which can make you feel quite anxious.

“Sometimes is about being able to learn to separate yourself from people with high anxiety.

“Stress comes from believing you don’t have the capability to deal with the challenges at hand but nine times out of 10 you do.

“If students are stressed about exams, for example, they do have the capabilities for the challenge ahead of them. With the right resources they can negotiate them.

“It’s important that people don’t go hell for leather, such as going to the gym five times a week when they have never been before, because you set yourself up for a fall.

“Be realistic about what you can achieve around change.

“How do you break things up? How do you look at things? What are you giving yourself to look forward to?

“If I was to revise 24/7 and I don’t have something to look forward to you become soulless and robotic.

“My advice is to break things up and look at where you are putting wellbeing into this.”