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Let’s do something about anxiety


Thursday, October 26, 2017 10:8AM

Let’s talk about anxiety. ... Did you just turn the page? Are you going to shut me down just like that? What?

I worry about these things. Honest. As I sit down to write this column each month, I worry about whether or not you will read this. Whether I have anything to say that you, the reader, will find interesting, relevant, helpful. Sometimes I start the column three or four times. Too boring. Who cares about this? I’m whining. Too much me. Not personal enough. I watch the deadline come and go. I am anxious.

Yes, anxiety affects all of us. The dictionary tells us that anxiety is “the state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties; worry; fear.” We worry about what to wear on that special evening out. We are anxious about that upcoming meeting with the boss. Our anxiety level escalates when we get a phone call in the middle of the night.

Our kids experience anxiety, too. I think we all have stories of anxious moments in our childhood. My brother told me that dragonflies would zip up my mouth if I said a bad word. For years (way too many, to be truthful) I had an unreasonable fear of dragonflies. I was incredibly anxious about my first visit to an eye doctor at the age of eight. I equated doctors with shots, and an eye doctor was obviously going to give me a shot in the eye. I was terrified. Of course, I didn’t share this thought with any adult.

Kids worry about the first day of school, what will the teacher be like? Will the kids laugh at me – because of my clothes, my shoes, my stutter, my glasses, etc? When children overhear mom and dad talking about the lack of money, they worry about money too. There is the fear of being separated from mom or dad that comes out when they are left in childcare. Anxiety touches every single one of us. It is part of the human experience.

The River Center is doing something to help us all manage anxiety in ourselves and in our children. We are hosting Lynn Lyons, LICSW, author and speaker, on Tuesday evening, Oct. 24 at 6:30 at the Peterborough Town House. Lyons will speak on “How to Interrupt the Worry Cycle” based on her book co-authored with Reid Wilson, PhD, entitled Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents. She gives some practical ideas about how to help face anxiety straight on and remove the power it holds on us and our children. I am convinced that all of us will walk away from her presentation with practical ideas to keep the worry monster at bay in our lives.

The opposite of anxiety is: security, confidence, relief, assurance, serenity, contentment, calmness. Those are the words that I want to describe me. I want you and your children to be content and confident as well. Please join us on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Peterborough Town House. You can register for this free event on rivercenter.us or calling us at 924-6800.

I am calm now. Another column is written. Hope it was helpful to you.

For more information on upcoming programs and services at The River Center Family and Community Resource Center, please go to rivercenter.us or give us a call at 924-6800.

Margaret Nelson is the executive director at the River Center. She can be reached at mnelson@rivercenter.us.