What to do about Worries
Whether you've got a few worries about going back to school for the first time since lockdown or starting at a new school, you're not alone, lots of students feel this way and it's perfectly normal!
Here are some of things other young people in Cornwall told us they were worried about:
I’m going to a new school. What if…
No-one likes me? I forget the stuff I need? I get bullied by the older pupils? I get lost? I don’t make any friends? I’m late for school? I miss the bus? The teachers don’t like me? I don’t understand the work? I lose my bus pass? I don’t like the teachers? I don’t feel well? I forget my homework? The teachers don’t know me & don't understand that I need extra support? The teachers don’t know me & don't understand that I can get really worried when things get too much?
It’s great to be going back but…
Will it be safe? Is there going to be pressure to do lots of extra work? How will bubbles work? Has school changed a lot? Will I have to wear a face mask? Will there still be clubs and sports? How will we stay distanced on the school bus? Will there be rules & restrictions about using the toilet?
Worries including 'What if...?' worries can be a pesky problem. So it's a good job "Worry Walt" is here with some great ideas how to deal with them...
When worries and 'what ifs' fill your mind. Check out my top tips for managing them
Worry Walt's Top Tips:
- Catch worries by writing them down
- Understand worries - what type of worry is it?
- Don't let worries take over - use Worry Time
- Tackle your worries using the Worry Tree
Catch the worries
If you notice you are worrying about something during the day... write it down to deal with later. Once you've written it down, try not to let it distract your focus. - let it go until you're ready to deal with it. There are some great ideas for helping you let go of the worries and refocus your attention.
Understand what type of worry it is:
- A 'What if...?' worry - which are 'hypothetical' - and we can't do anything about (and may never happen) - like "What if no one likes me?"
- A 'practical' worry - worries that you can do something about (hurrah!) - like "Will I have to wear a face mask?"
It is can be distracting and difficult to be thinking about your worries all the time. Set aside some worry time to look at the worries you've caught. For each one decide if it is a practical or a 'what if...?' worry.
There's not much you can do with a 'What if...?' worry except let it go. And with practice that can become easier. With a practical worry have a go at problem solving.
Walt's Worry Tree
(click on the graphic to download a pdf)
Here's a good video about how to use a worry tree
More managing worries ideas
Download a copy of Walt's Worry Workbook - our simple guide to managing your worries.
For more about managing worries, our fabulous friends at WeHeartCBT have some brilliant information and ideas for young people and parents and carers. Check out their Managing Worry: Young Person's Factsheet
Our Start Now Wellbeing Action Plan and Toolkit is full of things to do to help you manage your worries; distraction and calming ideas; and loads more...