My name is Morgan. I am 16 years old and this is my story. I hope this helps you learn something new so that you can help someone with anxiety or even help yourself.
Youth live very busy lives. Everyone is trying to keep up with school, sports, extracurriculars, maintaining a social life, starting parttime jobs and so much more. Ultimately, all of these different things add up and will have an impact on youth’s lives. That is exactly where it began for me. I always knew that Grade 11 is one of “the most important” years of high school and that it would be very difficult, but I never would’ve imagined that I’d be where I am right now.
The work that came with Grade 11, came in full force. It felt like I hit a brick wall to realize exactly how hard this year was going to be. Immediately, I became very stressed about getting good grades on tests and being able to finish homework and assignments on time. Every day, I would go to school, come home at the end of the day, have dinner then do homework for the rest of the night but no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t getting the grades that I worked and hoped for. The stress and anxiety that came with the struggle of Grade 11 became exhausting. It consumed so much energy, that after a few months I never had enough energy to stay up and do my homework each night. Some days, I’d be too mentally and physically drained to even get out of bed or go to school. I called these days “mental health” days because I wasn’t physically sick, I just needed a break from the stress and anxiety that a day at school would cause me.
It wasn’t until I heard of Cam’s Kids that I decided to change the daily routine that was making my life so difficult. The support and coping strategies it offered were the first steps I took to make myself live a healthier and happier life. I used strategies like breathing exercises and visualization then, through discovery, I learned more strategies that effectively helped me. These are some of the strategies I use to help if I’m stressed or anxious:
Taking a moment to take a step back, to reflect and remind myself of the big picture because I realized that sometimes the little things won’t have as big of an impact on the future as I think.
Listening to music that makes me feel better. I learned that the music I listened to would reflect the emotions that I felt at the time, so I started making playlists of songs that I knew would make me feel better and help me relax.
I go on walks or walk my dog until I feel calm again. I also bring my camera, to capture images of moments that will remind me how special life is every day and that I shouldn’t let anxiety and stress consume my life.
Since I discovered these strategies, I can manage my stress and anxiety much better, which has let me live a much happier life. I believe that Cam’s Kids, along with the Ambassador Program can affect many youth’s lives for the better, like it already has with mine. This makes “youth-helping-youth” so important because it is a group of people that might be sharing a common problem and are in need of help from someone that can understand their situation. Youth should not be afraid to get help because if they’re going through a tough time in their life, chances are someone else has gone through something similar. Therefore, “youth-helping-youth” is beneficial because it can be a mutual aid, by exchanging experiences and creating more personal connections through understanding.