RIDE HIGH PINEAPPLE
In the story Ride High Pineapple, Issy says she has something called anxiety. She gets sweaty palms, she has butterflies in her tummy, she has a pounding heart, she can't sleep and is tired, she feels angry and sometimes she even vomits. Maybe you've felt this way when something has scared you, or you've had to do a talk at school in front of your classmates.
Everyone does feel nervous. That is very normal. But sometimes a person's nervousness becomes so severe, that it makes them sick and stops them from doing things. Sometimes a person with anxiety avoid thing or going places because they are feeling so bad inside. Anxiety affects a lot of young people.
When I was deciding on Issy's character, why did I give her anxiety? That's easy. Because myself and my daughter both have severe anxiety. And there have been children who I have taught who had anxiety.
Anxiety can be hard to cope with. It is difficult to make yourself do something when your body and your mind are telling you not to. For example, Issy didn't swim in the swimming carnival because of her fear of swimming in front of the school. Towards the middle of the story Issy tells her skateboarding coach about her anxiety and explains that it is stopping her from enjoying her life, and particularly from going further with her sport. Sarah teaches Issy the analogy of a pineapple. This works.Sometimes children and teenagers are told by a doctor that they have an anxiety disorder and they will need some extra help to cope. They may see someone called a psychologist who will talk to them and design specific strategies for them to use.
There are many strategies for anyone who is coping with nerves or anxiety. Drawing, colouring in, journaling, going for a walk or playing sport, listening to music, smelling something nice, or cuddling your favourite toy or pet are all great things to do. Or you too can imagine you are a pineapple - stand tall, be tough on the outside, sweet on the inside, and wear a crown.
For more information on anxiety see: