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Don't know what to do anxiety

Recently for a while I have been feeling anxious about everything from my upcoming piano exam to handling school work. I'm 15 years old and still in school and use to achieve pretty good grades until this year everything fell apart.

 

i have an upcoming piano exam that I have been preparing for over a year that requires me to practice 3 hours a day but so far, I haven't been able to do so due to other commitments and homework. Due to my procrastination at the beginning of the year I deleted my two favorite games that I have played with for over 2 years in order to focus on my studies. But as time goes by, I become more scared of what is going to be the outcome of this exam. I don't even enjoy playing piano but I continued so I wouldn't let my mum down. These days every night she screams at me to practice and her voice- always in a high pitched stressful manner makes me feel very stressed. I already can't handle school work, coaching and peer pressure and recently been skipping school to try to help myself. I even tried to contact the school counselor TWICE about everything and how much I tried to stop myself from procrastinating and sleeping late every night but they have never replied. To make it even more stressful, I have a twin sister who goes to the same selective school I do. Everyday, I see her on social media having fun chatting to friends while I am stuck in the piano room practicing and I have tried so hard to ignore it even though it happens right in front of me everyday. I have tried telling my mum heart to heart not to 'remind' me as she calls it to practice piano but she never listens- everyday she continues to scream at me. 

 

Since i I am failing all my school subjects dramatically this year, I am trying so hard to do better in them since only a few students can be chosen in certain electives in year 11. For over a year I have tried to help steady my sleep patterns and for a while they were sufficient. Now I have fallen back into my old habits and to help myself with this, I tried meditation, folding my bed every morning and exercise every morning before I go to school but it hasn't helped. 

 

At school, I have stopped sitting with my friends at lunch since my maths teacher told me I should study at the library at lunch in order to keep up with homework even if I have piano exam. Honestly, I am so scared of everything, I can't stop thinking about piano every single day and about how I can continue to handle school. Since I accompany the junior choir as well, I am also scared about how I can maintain and be a role model to those younger than me everyday at school. 

 

Sometimes out of no where when I'm at home I would suddenly start crying out of the blue but of course, I never do it when theres people. I tried telling my mum about the stresses I am experiencing but all she did was argue back and say it's for my own good. 

 

Now there is only 2 months left until my piano exam and my mentality to practice is so low that I can't even sit there for long to practice exam pieces. 

 

Aiyaaa what should I do and how should I handle it?? Since my mentality is kind of low these days I fear I would fall back into procrastinating even though I know this would make me even more stressed out. 😞

Re: Don't know what to do anxiety

Hi @Yellowpurple.

I just.... I almost could've written that myself when I was 15.

The main difference is that it sounds like you were brave enough to start looking for help way earlier than I did.

(plus that I used to play flute instead of piano. My brain never could handle chords...)

You've already tried a lot to help yourself and to get help, which is really good!

 

3 hours a day is a huge amount of practice.. honestly I struggled just with 20 minutes, I eventually gave up on flute. The only way that I could convince my parents to let me was to say it was so that I could focus on the subjects I needed for the uni course I wanted to get into.

Do you do it all in one block, or break it up into a few sessions a day?

 

My parents wouldn't shut up about my homework either. My mum has a voice that sounds like glass breaking, especially when she's stressed, and it's always put me on edge...

Honestly they only stopped after my psychologist told them that doing stuff like that was literally putting me at risk of harm and they needed to stop.. Smiley Indifferent

Hopefully your mum will be a bit easier to convince to stop...

 

Would you like to bring up with your mum that you don't want to continue piano?

I know that it's not ideal and she won't be happy, but it doesn't sound like you're getting much out of it, and that it's harming your mental health...

If you want, we could talk about some ways to do that?

 

It can be hard when you're struggling and everyone else seems to be just going about their business. You mentioned seeing your sister's social media was hard for you.

Is there any way you could avoid her profile, or take a break from social media all together?

 

It sucks that your school counselor didn't get back to you... how do you think your mum would react to the idea of you seeing a counselor outside of school?

Re: Don't know what to do anxiety

Hi @Yellowpurple! Welcome to the forums!

It sounds like you're finding it really hard to stay motivated. There seems to be a lot of pressure on you to succeed, especially from your mum and being in a selective school. Is that right?
I didn't play a musical instrument when I was your age, but there was a lot of pressure on me to do well in school. I would stay up all night studying and never had any time for myself. It really took a toll on me and gave me so much anxiety. Juggling schoolwork and other commitments can be so hard. Smiley Sad

I think it's really great that you have already tried some things, even though they were unhelpful. At least now you know what doesn't work for you.

Have you tried any apps and tools to be more productive?
I have seen some websites like this one which can help you schedule breaks in between productive work. You can also get apps such as this one which follow the same kind of idea.
There are also other apps and websites that can help with procrastination such as Forest and FLIP.
I found that not starting any work until at least an hour after I got home from school helped me concentrate better too.

We just had a Weekly Wellbeing activity about sharing tips for sleep hygiene you can check out if you want some help with that. There is also a useful article about it here. Getting a good night's sleep can help us learn and process information, so it could help with your schoolwork and piano practice.

I think @Tiny_leaf's suggestions are great too!

Re: Don't know what to do anxiety

 Hi @Yellowpurple 

 

Welcome to ReachOut forums Heart Thank you for coming by and sharing with us. 

 

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate! It can be really difficult trying to manage our families expectations of us. It's great that you sought out help from the school counsellor and sorry to hear you haven't been able to get in touch with them. Is there someone you can speak to at school to help you get in touch with the counsellor again? 

 

What would you like to see yourself achieve? It sounds like improving your grades is something that's important to you - maybe write up some achievable goals and tick them off. We can't always please the people around us, but we can try to find ways to make ourselves proud of what we are doing in life.