What a to-do!
This means a fuss. The Oxford Concise Dictionary gives the derivation from “What’s to do?” Nowadays we might say “What needs doing?” or “What needs to be done?”
What’s to do?
can also mean “What’s the matter?” or “Why are you upset?”
Oh dear, what can the matter be?
is the first line of a traditional song. The second line is “Johnny’s so long at the fair.” If you don’t know the song, the lyrics are available if you click on the link. They might make you laugh!
In a flap
is a similar expression. Ladies’ full skirts flap when they bustle about.
Make a fuss.
Sometimes this is the right thing to do.
Don’t make a song and dance about it
is a more colourful way of saying “Don’t make a fuss!”
Don’t just stand there; do something!
There’s an emergency of some sort.
When someone is worried they may feel they are
in deep water
out of their depth.
A throng is a crowd. Here it is “very busy”. The same situation could elicit any of the next four expressions.
I’m meeting myself coming back.
I don’t know which way to turn.
I’m running round in (small) circles.
I can’t see the wood for the trees.
The last of these deserves a second look. If you are in a wood, you can only see the trees. You have to distance yourself from the wood to see it in its entirety (or one side of it anyway!) It is the same with problems and difficulties.
Don’t look so worried.
People have often said this to me, especially as a child!
To be beside oneself/ out of one’s mind with worry
and worried sick are traditional expressions.
Anxiety and depression count as illnesses nowadays. And rightly so – they can be very debilitating.
Left untreated they can drive you round the bend (crazy).
I’m at the end of my tether.
Goat’s are tethered to a pole. The end of the rope or tether at full stretch is as far as they can go. Someone using this expression is usually feeling stressed and that they cannot do much more.
They may even be past caring
and feel that they have had enough.
Someone trying to console a worried or sad person may have the following advice to offer:-
Don’t lose any sleep over it
don’t dwell on it. (Dwell is an old word for inhabit or live in. Going over and over something doesn’t usually make it better. But you do have to come to terms with it.)
Four more ways of giving good advice.
Put it behind you.
Keep things in proportion.
Rise above it.
Don’t let them get to you.
Take a deep breath.
This helps to calm the nerves. If someone is hyperventilating, they can be encouraged to breathe into a paper bag and keep it over their mouth and nose until their breathing is more normal. I’m told that breathing in more carbon dioxide helps to reduce the heart rate.
The use of “mind” as a verb is interesting. Never you mind means don’t let it trouble you.
I don’t mind has a few meanings. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a preference.
is an instruction to become happier. This can be easier said than done.
And he follows it with a promise of peace.