Back-to-School Wellness

child on a seat inside of a bus
childonbus, opens a new window by, opens a new window / CC BY 2.0, opens a new window / Cropped from original
Going back to school awakens many different emotions and feelings. Some people feel anxious and some people feel excited: others feel both!  Whether you are starting at a new school, meeting new classmates and teachers or changing your class schedule, there can be many feelings to navigate. Luckily, there are books that share with us that all of our feelings are valid.  

The Day You Begin starts with our main character walking into a room where no one is quite like her. Has that ever happened to you? From acknowledging skin color, hair texture, language or clothes, there are many times where we can feel awkward or alone in a new place. We move forward together and we see that our days actually begin when we share and listen to different cultures and stories from our new classmates and friends. 

In Frizzy, Marlena is going to her cousin’s quince and seems to find herself with big feelings defending her curly hair. While proudly embracing who she is, Marlena gets help from her family and her best friend, Camila, on her journey of self-love.   

 Isabel and Her Colores Go to School: Isabel grapples with going to a new school and not speaking in her first language, Spanish. She finds a colorful way to express herself with her emotions to communicate with new friends.    

There are so many more stories to help us reflect about our own experiences. These social-emotional themed titles show us that we are not alone on that first day of a new school or when we have a new routine.  Check out this book list as you get ready for a successful school year. 

Everyone's feelings are different! Learn more about how to take care of your mental health with NAMI Chicago.

If you or someone in your family needs professional help, you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago Helpline at 833-626-4244 for support and referrals or visit their Resource page. In a crisis? Call 998 or text 988 or chat (