Waves of panic swept in, washing out thoughts of an exciting journey. We had planned this trip for years, with the assurance of our tour guides making our adventure safe and thrilling.
The middle aged man feeding us details of the historic city with its iconic buildings, suddenly began to stutter as beads of sweat broke out on his face, his eyes darting back and forth, frantic to find an exit from the old ruins. His partner responded breathless and hurriedly, in the local dialect, what seemed to be suggestions. An uneasy quiet chilled the excited chatting in the group to silence. An elderly lady paled and began trembling with beads of sweat pouring from her face, mirroring our guide. We feared she would pass out!
Recognising anxiety as a cue to implement action for ensuring safety measures, avert danger and promote healthy living, is important for the holistic well being of each person and those around. Children are on a life journey, a place they’ve never been, looking up to parents and adults around them for assurance and safety, through the twisty unknown paths.
Anxiety inevitably sets in for the young ones, when carers are unable to give clarity in uncertain seasons. Fear becomes overwhelming and sometimes paralyzing for tourists when the tour guides are obviously anxious and scared. Tour guides need help too.
There are seasons in life when answers are not clear cut. Leaders still need to lead at these times. Assurance for followers may be provided with truth and leaders clarifying with not having the answers yet but working on solutions, encouraging followers to focus on what may be controlled as focusing on uncontrollable factors tend to make anxiety take charge.
Changes in seasons of life are easier navigated by vulnerable persons, especially children, when adults, parents, carers and leaders in various capacities are able to guide whilst containing their own emotions.
Yes, adults and leaders too are prone to emotional distress. Engaging appropriate strategies, reaching out for help, embracing support will limit the risk of anxiety and fear spilling to others looking to them for needed support. Let’s focus on the things within our control and keep anxiety within healthy limits by not focusing on things we cannot change