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That Time of Year Again…

Anxiety. We all have it. A certain amount of anxiety is useful. It is a signal that some sort of danger is ahead and a primal response to help you to avoid it. Think about how you feel when you have bought a car, invested a large sum on money or had to present a report to your boss. You probably felt a bit stressed or insecure and that is totally normal to experience some anxiety (Eisold, 2011). It is important to understand that our young boys and men might start experiencing stress or feel insecure and this is a normal and natural part of life.

Sometimes though, anxiety becomes overwhelming and doesn’t allow us to function. You can lie in bed at night, the mind whirling and overthinking every situation. It doesn’t allow us to sleep and we head into another day without rest and not being able to function at an optimum level. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) “Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average, 1 in 4 people – 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men – will experience anxiety.” Yet, males are three times more likely to take their own life than females.

You might be wondering why I am writing about Anxiety. Well, your sons are most likely starting to feel the pinch of pressure and an elevated level of stress as we head into an assessment heavy period. That’s normal for the majority and nothing to be concerned about, but they can become anxious because children, teenagers and young adults need to be taught how manage situations. As adults we can’t assume that children know how to manage their stress.

There are two moments in a person’s day where they have complete control. The morning, how you get up out of bed and in the evening, how you go to bed. Rather than me explain it to you check out this video of how extremely successful people start their day:

An article appearing in Business Insider researched what successful people do before bed and these are the top seven most important things:

  • Disconnect
  • Unplug Completely
  • Reflect
  • Decompress
  • Plan out your sleep
  • Make a to-do list
  • Give up the late-night snack.

How are all these things linked to anxiety? Well, anxiety can be exacerbated but not feeling organised or the ‘danger’ of an impending exam. By taking time out of the day to set up for success, you are limiting one of the primary drivers of anxiety… The unknown.

My favourite part of the morning routine, and no Mr Warr, it’s not Crossfit, is actually a cold shower. It does wonders for preparing me for the day ahead, especially now it’s winter. Google the Ice-Man if you want to know more!

Sam Brown
Head of Leinster
browns@atc.qld.edu.au