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© University of East Anglia

Anxiety is normal. Anxiety itself is not a medical condition but a natural emotion that is vital for survival when an individual find’s themselves facing danger.

An anxiety disorder develops when this reaction becomes exaggerated or out-of-proportion to the trigger that causes it.

Healthy anxiety Problem anxiety
Lasts only a short time lasts for months or years
happens in a stressful situation not always linked to a stressful situation
feels anxious occasionally feels anxious often
doesn’t affect daily life stops you doing things
worried about things that could cause problems worried about things that aren’t likely to cause problems

Whilst we have looked at different ways to help manage your child manage their anxieties, such as understanding and challenging unhelpful thinking, shifting their focus through relaxation and mindfulness and talking to your child about their worries, you should seek the support of your GP if anxiety is affecting your child’s daily life or is causing them or you distress. With the right support, information and treatment, most children with anxiety disorders improve. Many will recover completely and stay well.

Remember to look after your own mental health. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or upset, among a wide range of other emotional reactions, in the current situation.

It’s okay, to not be okay

Self-care in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak includes focusing on things you can control (like having good hygiene) instead of those you cannot (stopping the virus). Where possible, maintain your daily routine and normal activities: eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep and doing things that you enjoy, are all things that promote positive mental health and can be incorporated in a daily routine.

We hope you have found this course useful. Rather than trying all the things together at once, it is often useful to take one step at a time, mastering a skill before going on to the next.

© University of East Anglia
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Anxiety in Children and Young People during COVID-19

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