What to do about Worries

Whether you've got a few worries about starting at a new school or worried about what the next year will be like - 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:


thoughtful boyWill all the Covid stuff really be over? What if stress

Will we still be told we've missed loads of learning and have got to catch up?

Did the government really say they were going to make the school day longer for extra lessons?  

What if.... ? What if.... ? What if.... ? What if.... ? What if.... ?



Worry Waltworry walk

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:

  • '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?"

Worry Time

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. 

Worry Tree 

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)

worry tree graphic

Click here for a good video about how to use a worry tree


Letting go and coping / distraction strategies

54321 Relax!

54321 a 54321b


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 and Resilience Action Plan and Toolkit is full of things to do to help you manage your worries; distraction and calming ideas; and loads more... 

 BTS boats