In our most recent Brave Girl Tribe call, part of my Life Coaching Virtual program designed for girls in 5th to 8th grade, the girls bravely opened up about their experiences with worry and anxiety. Their courage shed light on a common struggle that many of our tweens and teens face.
This time of year, we often see an increase in worry and anxiety as the demands of school increase, friendship changes and breakdowns happen, and the winter gloomies start.The Fear of Fear: Breaking the Worry Cycle
Some members of the Brave Girl Tribe opened up about fearing their own anxiety, particularly the worry of experiencing a panic attack. It's crucial to recognize that this fear can create a cycle that intensifies anxiety. In our discussions, we've emphasized that avoidance only strengthens worry.
The first step in encouraging our girls to manage their worry and anxiety is to externalize their worry by giving it a name. This helps our girls separate themselves from worry and not get down on themselves when worry or anxiety shows up. They can talk back to worry and even expect when worry will start to show up.
Learn How The Worry Cycle Works
The worry cycle starts first with a triggering event. This could be a strange look from a friend or a teacher's pop quiz announcement that leads to worried thoughts.
These worried thoughts activate the Amygdala, putting us into Fight, Flight, or Freeze mode by releasing adrenaline and shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion.
We begin to feel the effects of the adrenaline with our racing heart, butterflies in our stomachs, numb or shaky hands and legs, and we start to worry that something is wrong with us or this is a sign we need to avoid this situation.
Next, we start to have worried thoughts because of our physical reactions in our body, which sends a signal to the Amygdala to release even more life-saving chemicals to help us fight off this scary situation.
And we then find ourselves stuck in a cycle of worry.
If your daughter is having similar experiences to the girls in The Brave Girl Tribe please download my 7 Keys To Solving The Worry Puzzle to help support your daughter when worry shows up.
Loss of Motivation:
It takes a lot of emotional and mental bandwidth for girls to manage their worries and struggles.
I have a lot of girls sharing that they are struggling in school and can't find the motivation they once had for keeping their grades up, turning in homework, and preparing for tests.
Being Overwhelmed Has Led To A Loss Of Motivation.
If your daughter is struggling, she is not alone, and she may be spending a lot of time worrying about how you will react or worrying that she is letting you down.
Remember that a lack of motivation is not because your daughter is lazy. It is because she is stuck in overwhelm, and does not know how or where to take action.
This winter break can be a time to rest and reset for the return to school in January. Begin by asking your daughter about her emotional and physical well-being and if she is feeling overwhelmed.
You might say:
"I wanted to check in and see how you are doing. I know that this time of year can often feel stressful and overwhelming, especially with the winter break approaching."
"I want to make sure you can enjoy the break while also preparing to reset and return to school in January."
"What is important for you to do during this winter break?"
"Are there specific areas at school that may be stressful to return to?"
"How can you support your future self in January by doing certain things over the break?"
One of my favorite tools to help girls move out of overwhelm is my Pomodoro Planning and Time Management Packet. View Now
Winter Break: A Time for Reflection and Self-Care
As we approach the winter break, let's encourage our girls to take a step back and prioritize self-care. This is an opportunity for them to refocus, recharge, and rediscover their passions. Guide them in creating a balanced schedule that includes both relaxation and enjoyable activities.
Download my Winter Break Bucket List Worksheet to help you and your daughter plan for a memorable and restorative break. Download
Remember, our girls are brave, strong, and capable of overcoming challenges.
Together, let's ensure they enter the winter break with a sense of empowerment and a commitment to their well-being.
If you are looking for a gift to give that special tween or teen girl, think of giving her a membership to The Brave Girl Tribe. Here is my special coupon for you NEWFRIEND
Wishing you and your families a peaceful and rejuvenating winter break.