What does this mean?
It is normal for you to feel worried sometimes; even your parents or teachers will worry from time to time. It’s important that you speak to someone you trust if you feel worried, as they can help you to feel better.
What does worry/worrying feel like?
We are all different, so the way we behave and feel about worrying is different too. Some children may show their worries by arguing and being grumpy and others may become withdrawn and quiet. Worrying not only affects the way you feel, but it also affects how you think and behave.
Signs of worry at school:
- Finding it hard to concentrate on school work
- Fidgeting and finding it hard to sit still
- Not wanting to go to school
- Finding it hard to go back to school after the holidays or the weekend
- Not wanting to go into the classroom
- Not wanting to leave parents/carers
- Showing disruptive behaviour
- Repeatedly asking questions
- Appearing quiet or withdrawn
- Finding it hard to answer questions in front of the class
- Poor eye contact
- Regular complaints of feeling unwell, such as stomach ache, headaches, or feeling sick
- Unhappy with the quality of work
- Not wanting to join in group activities
- Regularly seeking reassurance
- Tearful and easily upset
Children might also have physical signs of worry such as:
- Light headed or dizziness
- Tight chest
- Stomach ache
- Feeling sick
- Pounding heart
What causes us to feel worried?
Feeling worried is a normal reaction when you are under pressure or facing a new situation, such as starting a new school or sitting a test. Usually, these feelings don’t last for very long and will pass.
Some children worry more than others and there are lots of reasons for this; it could be due to their personality or some things that have happened in their life. Sometimes you can worry a lot after an upsetting or frightening thing happens, such as being bullied at school, having an illness or the loss of a loved one. Also family arguments and problems at home can make you feel worried.
What can make us feel less worried?
- Talking to someone you trust about anything that is worrying you can help you to feel better and they can help you to deal with things that are worrying you
- Exercising or playing sports can help you to worry less as there are special chemicals called endorphins that are released in our brains during exercise that help us to be calm
- You could make a worry box with an adult that you trust by using an old tissues box which you can decorate. You can draw or write down your worries and post them into the box. Then you can sort through the box together at the end of the day or week and decide together what actions to take.
- Relaxing exercises are a good way of helping you to not think about your worries and making you feel calm. There are lots of children’s yoga classes and mindfulness exercises such as mindful colouring and breathing which can help you to relax.
- Doing activities you enjoy such as colouring, painting, drawing, reading, listening to music, talking to your friends, watching a film or cooking and baking can help you to feel calmer.