Anxiety in Children
Anxiety in Children and Young People
I am treating many more children for anxiety since the Covid pandemic. Although anxiety and uncertainty are part of growing up as children face different experiences and challenges. The number of children I am seeing who are struggling to go to school, experiencing eating disorders and unable to cope on a day-to-day basis is frightening.
Signs of anxiety in Children
- Changes in appetite or sleep habits
- Irritability or moodiness
- Difficulty concentrating in school or declining grades
- Complaining of physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches, with no medical cause
- Avoidance of certain situations or activities, such as going to school or social events
- Excessive worry or fear about everyday events or activities
- Panic attacks or extreme feelings of fear or dread
Tips for helping children suffering with anxiety are:
- Create a safe, quiet space for the child to talk to you.
- Encourage them to talk to you, then acknowledge, validate their feelings and listen to them. Don’t ask them to “just relax”!
- Encourage Healthy Habits, sleep, good nutrition and exercise all help with anxiety.
- Let the child know you are there to support them and to help them find resources and coping strategies to manage their anxiety.
- Identify triggers, breathing techniques, yoga, keeping a journal, having relaxing therapies such as Bowen all help to calm anxiety.
- Being around animals for some children can really help
- Talk to their teachers and advise them of any potential triggers at school.
- Seek professional help.
Remember to be kind to yourself.
Often the reasons for your children's anxiety are out of your control. It's important to be kind to yourself, focus on your own wellbeing and where you can make a difference.