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Pick a Path for Sam

Click on the image of Sam who is worried about his deployed parent to read a "pick a path" story where Sam learns how to cope.

It's OK to worry (but not too much)

Worrying is when you have negative thoughts while thinking about what can go wrong or feeling afraid about what might happen. It is kind of like your body’s alarm system causing false alarms.

You may worry about grades, tests, how you look, fitting in with your friends, or whether you will make a sports team. And for you as a military kid you may even worry about world events or issues you hear on the news.

Normal worries don't interfere with your day-to-day life. It can cause mild distress but not to a point where you feel stuck or even physically sick. All the fears can feel so real that you can start believing that they are true. Worry is something that happens, not something you are.

Shifting Gears to Stop Worry

Distractions can help put a stop to the worrying. Planned distractions work best and helps to break the cycle of worrying.

Try some of these distractions:

  • Activities keep your mind and body busy: exercising, drawing or doodling, listening to music, of doing nails/hair.
  • Contribute to others in some way: Make someone a care package, call a grandparent, volunteer, or bake cookies for a friend.
  • Do something to make you laugh: watch a funny movie, cat videos, bloopers, or play a silly game.
  • Get up and leave the problem situation either physically or mentally: Write down your thoughts and tear them up, sit outside, go for a walk, or leave your bedroom.
  • Think of other thoughts that don’t relate to your worry: Count backwards from 100, read inspirational quotes, or imagine what you would do if your family won the lottery.
  • Tune into at least one of your five senses: Hold an ice cube, squeeze a stress ball, take a hot shower, or try aromatherapy.

The Virtual Hope Box mobile app contains simple tools to help you cope with your worry through relaxation, distraction and positive thinking. You can personalize the Virtual Hope Box with music, photos, and videos that remind you of good memories. Some of the distraction features include simple games like Sudoku, photo puzzle and word search.

Download the app from the iTunes or Google Play store

Check out these teens figuring out "How to Cope" by clicking on each image to view their story...

Revised: Wed, 11/27/2019 - 08:32