Stress and Anxiety
Stress and Anxiety (1:41)
“As you go through life, you’ll learn to kind of figure out what is worth worrying about and what is not. So just asking yourself and thinking about the bigger picture will reduce a lot of that stress and anxiety, because you’re saying, “Well, for all of the things that could have happened, this is what happened instead. And it’s fixable.” Most things in life are fixable.”
1) One role model asked listeners to consider whether your worry is really worth worrying about. What did she mean? Can you think of some examples of things that aren’t “worth worrying about”?
2) Stress and anxiety is a part of life that can’t be avoided. But taking the time to step back and slow down your thoughts can help. When was the last time you felt stressed or anxious? What did you do to help calm yourself down or slow your thoughts? Did it work or is there something else you could try next time that might be better?
3) Support systems don’t come automatically. In fact, we learned that building support systems is “…something that you really have to take the initiative to do.” If someone didn’t have a support system, what steps might they take to build one? Do you think that the support system you have now will be the same for your entire life or do support systems change over time? Explain your thinking.
4) In the video, one role model mentioned that you should consider the people that you’re around. She said that sometimes the people you’re around can make you anxious. Can you think of an example from your life or from books, TV, or movies where stress or anxiety was caused by other people? Explain the situation. If you realize that a person or group of people is making you stressed or anxious, what
might you do?
5) Many of the role models spoke about making yourself a priority. What does it mean to make yourself a priority? Thinking back over the past few weeks, do you feel like you’re good at making yourself a priority or is it something that you need to work on? How do you know?
6) One role model told us, “You only get one life to live. It’s important to live it to its fullest, but it’s also important to take care of yourself along the way.” What do you already do to take care of yourself? What else could you do?
I think it’s really important to form a support system for yourself early on. And this is something that has helped me in times where I feel a lot of anxiety or stress, to know that I have friends or family or even just a mentor that I can reach out to and that I trust. And it’s something that you really have to take the initiative to do, to build these support systems for yourself.
As you go through life, you’ll learn to kind of figure out what is worth worrying about and what is not. So just asking yourself and thinking about the bigger picture will reduce a lot of that stress and anxiety, because you’re saying, “Well, for all of the things that could have happened, this is what happened instead. And it’s fixable.” Most things in life are fixable.
I really recommend looking at how you treat yourself, even who you’re around. Sometimes the people you’re around can make you anxious, and you have to tie back or look back at, “What happened right before I felt this way?” Think about what you can do to calm down your thoughts, take a step back, and kind of slow down.
You have to make yourself the first priority. You have to pay yourself first. Pay yourself in sleep and pay yourself in exercise and pay yourself in eating a healthy breakfast to start the day. Pay yourself by cutting out half of the caffeine. Pay yourself by taking that hot bath at night and meditating. And so it’s really important that you take care of yourself throughout your journey.
You only get one life. It’s important to live it to its fullest. But it’s also important to take care of yourself along the way.
Independent Learning Guide: This all-purpose guide can be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a lively discussion about how to deal with stress and anxiety.
Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.
Fun Page Activity: Building a support system is one way that the role models suggested women and girls work to deal with stress and anxiety. Use the chart in this activity to think about your personal support system and how it can help you live your life to the fullest.