Anxiety & Depression

Written by Lori Reichel, Ph.D.

  |  Reviewed by Hina J. Talib, MD

Feeling anxious and depressed happens to everyone. Anxiety is a natural response that occurs when worried or upset. Actually, anxiety is like an alarm system in people’s bodies, the fight or flight response, occurring when feeling threatened or in danger. Depression is a feeling of sadness, discouragement, or irritation. And it is normal for everyone, young and old, to have these feelings at times.

Yet, anxiety or depression that lasts for longer than a few days and negatively impacts a person’s everyday life is unhealthy.  Consistent and persistent anxiety and/or depression are signs that support is needed. This support includes asking for help from a trusted adult, including a parent, teacher, school counselor, or coach. To learn more visit BLOOM’s Mental Health information here.

Tips for managing Anxiety & Depression
  • Learn relaxation techniques that work for you and your body. These techniques can include deep breathing and mindfulness exercises, which can be found on BLOOM’s Healthy Mind Practices page and on other reliable apps such as: Insight Timer, Calm, and Headspace. A school counselor or health teacher can also help you learn these techniques.
  • Make sure you spend time with family members and friends. Connecting with people we care about and who care about us helps us to feel happier.
  • Practice other healthy habits like exercising regularly, sleeping enough, and eating nutritious foods.
  • Try using a weighted blanket or put a heavy item on your lap like a pet, heavy book, or bag. Research shows that deep pressure input is often calming.
  • Be sure you are getting enough quality nighttime sleep.
  • Get outside. Research has shown that being around natural environments, like parks and lakes, helps our bodies naturally relax.
  • Try to think of positive thoughts, including the accomplishments you have. Some young people keep a journal for recording these thoughts on a regular basis.
  • Reach out to a trusted person if you realize your feelings of anxiety and/or depression are lasting longer than a few days or are getting in the way of your regular activities.