I don’t think I can remember really knowing about stress or even using the words
“I’m stressed” or
”I’ve got such anxiety“ when I was young.
Those words weren’t common place growing up in the 80’s and 90’s.
Unfortunately they are common place nowadays- our kids are not only aware of these words but they are struggling with feeling these “words“.
One key, initial piece of support you can offer your children who are struggling with stress or anxiety is to introduce them to the idea that actually some amount of anxiousness is a normal part of daily life.
While I do not want to diminish the seriousness of anxiety and chronic stress, I DO want to help kids understand that the feelings they may be experiencing are normal.
It‘s really important that we eliminate the stigma attached to stress & anxiety and that children, young adults stop feeling flawed or broken.
It’s not a sign of weakness to be dealing with chronic stress or anxiety - it’s actually something that we aren’t really taught how to deal with.
Focus on the Now
Try the Senses 5,4,3,2,1 method
Most triggers of stress happen because we are worrying about something that has happened (the past), or something that might happen (the future)
As soon as you realise you are feeling anxious,
use the Senses 5,4,3,2,1 method to bring yourself out of that worry state. 5 - identify 5 things you can see right now
4 - identify 4 things you can hear right now
3 - identify 3 things you can smell right now
2 - identify 2 things you can touch / feel right now
1 - identify what you can taste (even if you’re not eating anything, notice how your mouth feels. )
And let your children know that it’s always ok to ask for help.