Anxiety is the theme of this year’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Anxiety is a normal emotion in us all, but sometimes it can get out of control.  According to the Mental Health Foundation lots of things can lead to feelings of anxiety, including exam pressures, relationships, money worries, starting a new job (or losing one) or other big life events.

What can we do to cope with feelings of anxiety?

There are lots of things which we can do to help manage feelings of anxiety, and what works will be different for each of us.

Lindsey Hall our Training and Awareness Lead explains, “We shouldn’t keep the feeling of anxiety to ourselves. People who care about you will want to help you. Talking to someone about your fear or worry can reduce any fear or confusion you may be feeling, and help you understand your actions and behaviour.”

Extra pressure and stress during the exam season is ofter a trigger for anxiety to build and even get out of control. But anxiety can be made easier to manage. Here at JIGSAW Thornbury we have been supporting children and young people with additional needs, or disabilities, and their families, with anxiety for many years through our Project 5 programme. We’d like to share some tools from Project 5 for coping with feelings of anxiety:

  • Why should you talk about anxiety?
  • How can learning help support anxiety?
  • How can giving back help anxiety?
  • Why being active helps anxiety?
  • …and breathe….Take time to calm, use a Heart hug and ‘Five Finger’ or ‘Square’ breathing techniques

Click here to access our ready to print handouts: P5 Anxiety support handouts for MHW

The Mental Health Foundation also have free resources on their website to help you understand more about anxiety and the things you can do to help –