Activity: Normalize Activity
Levels: Middle, High
Anxiety can be healthy. But not all adolescents, or adults, know that it typically acts as a useful and protective emotion. Accordingly, teenagers sometimes fear that their heightened nerves signal the onset of a full-blown anxiety disorder. They become worried about the fact that they are worried. Adults can help young people appreciate that healthy anxiety has a purpose: It alerts us to potential threats and helps us move toward safety. “Feeling some anxiety,” we might say calmly, “makes sense right now. You’re having the right reaction to the emerging news about the coronavirus.” From there, we can encourage teenagers to channel their discomfort into useful action, such as learning about and following the recommended health guidelines.
Pair students up and have them practice normalizing some of the anxieties they feel whether it’s related to coronavirus or not. Consider making a class list of statements to help students normalize their anxiety.