Layla Crawford has already amassed an impressive resume as an actress. She has appeared in top-rated shows such as NCIS: LA, The First Family, and appeared in HBO’s True Blood. Adding to her Hollywood assent, Crawford appeared in the Oscar-nominated film, King Richard. Recently, the seventeen-year-old sat down with Forbes to talk about how she manages her anxiety.
“I wish the world would take mental health more seriously and become more open about it,” Crawford shared in her interview. “It seems like many people feel incredibly alone, but in reality, many of us feel the same way. We are in the same situations. Society needs to address the current mental health crisis, erase the stigma, and normalize it so no one feels isolated. We need to stop asking ‘Why?’ and start asking ‘What can we do to help?’ I feel that my generation has become more open and honest in asking these questions.”
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “21% of 16-17-year-olds experienced a major depressive episode. Anxiety, depression, somatic disorders and teen suicide are known as “internalizing disorders” — conditions that are often nearly invisible to others, but cause great pain to those tormented by them.”
With the Covid pandemic giving rise to a global mental health crisis, not only for adults, but for everyone, Crawford opened up about how she deals with her own anxiety. Crawford has actively battled anxiety for most of her life and offers her top five strategies to help others who are suffering as well.
1. Take time out of your day for yourself.
It’s okay to say “no” to going out with friends or to decide to do your homework later in the day. Listen to your mind and your body. Put yourself first.
2. Keep active.
I used to hate working out. But then I noticed that when I worked out, I felt less stressed. I know it is easier said than done, but when you work out, your body and mind will thank you.
Take time to record your emotions. Then you can go back and see your progress, or how things you used to worry about are working out. You can write in a notebook or make videos for your future self. Learning about yourself will really help you cope with your anxiety.
My nerves are way higher when I don’t get a good night’s rest. I’ve started to keep myself on a schedule that makes me more productive and less anxious.
5. Remember: Perfection doesn’t exist.
If you make a mistake, you can always go back and try to change it. Erase the idea that the world will end if you do something wrong. There is always room for correction. It is okay to start over. Also remember that you cannot fix things that are out of your control.
“Sometimes your purpose will naturally come to you, or it might arrive through trial and error. But either way, you will win in the end. Don’t give up when you run into walls. Just keep going.”
Very sage advice from one wise young lady. According to Health Central, here are ten signs of anxiety in teens.
- Consistent or excessive worry about school, friends, following rules or approval of teachers and parents. Although it may be normal for teens to be concerned about different parts of their life, if your teen is showing excessive worry every day for a period of time, he or she may have anxiety.
- Complaints of physical problems such as headaches, stomachaches, or tiredness with no physical cause.
- Problems sleeping. This could be having a hard time falling asleep, waking up throughout the night or waking up early. When teens feel tired either when they first wake or throughout the day, they may not be sleeping properly.
- Using self-depreciating statements, being overly critical of himself or herself or doubting their abilities. Low self-esteem.
- Continually seeking the approval of their teachers, parents or other adults in their life.
- Continually checking and rechecking schoolwork or other chores to make sure it has been completed correctly. Although double-checking work is always a good idea, if a teen never feels satisfied with work and must check and recheck their work.
- Avoidance of social activities, a withdrawal from friends or not wanting to go to school.
- Other disorders. Some common co-existing conditions may be ADHD or depression. If your teen has previously been diagnosed with either ADHD or depression, watch for symptoms of anxiety as well.
- Inability to stop the worry despite reassurances from school personnel or parents.
- Irritability, mood swings or experimentation with alcohol or drugs.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms or suffering from anxiety, make sure to follow-up with a medical professional.