Young Carers

I feel anxious!

Anxiety is the feeling you get when you’re worried or scared about something. When we are in stressful situations, anxiety sets off our brain’s alarm system, which tells us something isn’t right and that we need to deal with it. Our brain wants the difficult situation to go away, so it makes us feel more alert, stops us thinking about other things, and even pumps more blood to our legs to help us run away.

Anxiety can be a particular problem for young carers – they can become isolated and fear being different. They also worry about their family member(s) when they’re away from home. Many young carers have trouble balancing schoolwork with home responsibilities and this can also be a source of anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety can affect you physically and mentally. The charity, YoungMinds, lists some of the symptoms of anxiety as:

  • Feeling on edge or panicky all the time
  • Feeling full of dread
  • Feeling out of control
  • Having sleeping problems, feeling tired and grumpy
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate
  • Trembling or having wobbly legs
  • Lack of appetite
  • Having stomach cramps or diarrhoea or needing to go to the loo a lot
  • Sweating

If you experience any of these symptoms above, it doesn’t mean you definitely have an anxiety problem. But if any of them are affecting your everyday life, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling.

Everyone feels anxious sometimes, and a little anxiety can be helpful as it can keep you safe from danger and helps you focus on important tasks – like at exam time. But sometimes anxiety can make you feel like things are worse than they actually are, and that can feel overwhelming and debilitating.

Action you can take right now

There are lots of things you can do to help yourself cope better with your anxiety. Techniques that help you learn how focus on your breath and your body are especially useful and can help you relax. Here are two techniques you can use anytime, anywhere.

Take some deep, slow breaths

  • Breathe in slowly while you count 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Breathe out slowly while you count 4, 3, 2, 1
  • Repeat 4 times

The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise

  • Relax your body as much as you can and focus on where you are.
  • Name 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch and feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell, and
  • 1 thing you can taste.

More Information





  • How to cope with anxiety, Childline (1.5 minutes) – Explains what anxiety is, how it affects you, and what you can do to cope.
  • Living with anxiety, YoungMinds (1.5 minutes) – Young people share their experiences of living with anxiety and what they do to help themselves cope
  • How to make a self-soothe box, YoungMinds (2.5 minutes) – Explains what a self-soothe box is and how it can help you when you’re feeling anxious or panicky
  • Try Finger Hugging, Childline (4 minutes) – a mindfulness exercise that can help you relax and feel calm
  • Three Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety, Childline (6.5 minutes) – Explains what social anxiety is, the impact that it has on you, and three tips for tackling it.

Read, watch, do


  • The Childline Calm Zone has lots of activities, tools, breathing and exercise ideas that you can use to help yourself feel better when you’re feeling anxious, sad, or overwhelmed. (Childline)
  • Anxiety: A Guide for Young People has information about anxiety and simple self-help techniques for coping (YoungMinds)

Where to get more help

If you’re struggling to cope with your worries and fears, speak to your GP who will be able to recommend the best kind of support for you.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone anonymously, you could also call a free phoneline:

  • Childline (for children and young people under 19) (24 hours) 0800 1111 or chat to someone at Childline via webchat or email. See for further information.
  • The Mix (for young people under 25) (Monday to Saturday, 4pm – 11pm) – 0808 808 4994, or chat via email or webchat.
  • Samaritans (24 hours) – 116 123 or
  • Young Scot has also put together a helpful list of organisations you can contact if you feel you need support for your mental health. You can also talk to your GP or a trusted family member or friend.

Our Funders & Partners


Help us continue our work by making a donation to angus carers today.