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Coping with Low Mood and Anxiety

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Coping Statements

Coping statements are positive healthy TRUE thoughts we use to replace the negative false thoughts anxiety gives us

It is just a feeling

I know this feeling will go away

I have had this feeling before. It will not hurt me

I do not need to pay any attention to my thoughts

These thoughts are bullying me. I am not going to let them.

I am not going to let my thoughts make me unhappy

I choose to be happy

I am going to ignore my thoughts and get on with other things

Now try and write down some of your own :)

How to create an anxiety reduction kit

The most important thing about creating a kit for yourself is putting in what works for you. If you think there are certain activities or things that seem to calm you, then use these;

What you want to do is create a toolbox of tools that you can pull out when you need them. You want to be able to give yourself the strategies and confidence to be able to manage your feelings on your own

Some Ideas:
• Stress balls
• Piece of fabric
• Play dough in purple (soothing colour)
• Rescue Remedy (natural stress relief drops)
• Hand cream / Moisturizer
• Chewing Gum
• A book
• Lyrics from your favourite song
• Colouring pens
• Photograph
• Cuddly toy
• iPod and headphones


Help With Coping

1.    Exercise – This can be as little or as much as you want. There is plenty of work out classes now available over the internet. Try Joe Wickes You Tube Live PE Session 9am Monday to Friday.

2.    Practice Positive Thinking – It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking bad thoughts. Try every day to think one positive thought. This will help lift your mood and flood your body with happy chemicals.

3.    A Good Nights Sleep – Sleep is important for our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Try to keep a good bedtime routine. It can be tempting now school is over ( TEMPORARILY) to stay up late and wake up late. This will make it harder for you to adjust back into a routine when school starts again.

4.    Keeping a routine – If you take time to think you will be surprised how much of a routine you had when you were at school. Your time throughout the day was organised into neat chunks.  Try to keep some sort of routine going. It will give you control when so much at the moment seems out of our control,  it will give you reassurance when we seem to have none and it will give you a purpose to the day. It will help you adapt to the changes happening around us and it will lower your stress levels

5.    Time to try some new hobbies / activities – Now is the time to try something new or remember things you used to enjoy but have forgotten. Finish that book you started reading, take up painting, listen to some new music, learn to cook, learn how to use the washing machine (help your parents out!), watch a movie, learn a new language, try gardening.

6.    Be Flexible – Accept everyone is learning to cope with a new situation. You may have lots of people at home with you, you may not be able to go out and see friends, you may be cut off from loved ones…you may even miss school. Try to be flexible and learn to adapt. Adapt means adjusting to new conditions. Be considerate of others, be patient and understanding and be prepared to help out.

7.    Have worry time – It is absolutely 100% understandable that you may be worried right now.  Tell yourself it is ok to be worried but NOT OK to worry all of the time. Set yourself a time in the day to concentrate on your worries… more than 30 minutes. Deal with what you can change and accept the things you can’t.  DO NOT WATCH THE NEWS ALL OF THE TIME. YOU MAY WANT TO TURN OF NOTIFICTAIONS ON YOUR IPAD/ PHONE.

8.    Look ahead to the future – REMEMBER this is a moment in time and it will pass. Life WILL get back to normal. Set yourself short, medium and long term goals for the future.  Do you want to travel the world, do more volunteering, meet up with family members more, et more organised.

9.    Practice being grateful – This is something we all forget to do because we are too focussed on what we haven’t got. Many people are in need right now.  Practice every day to think of one thing you are grateful for, your health, your family, your play station, your friends, your garden, your food.

10.    Connect with others – We all need each other right now. Don’t forget to check in on someone each day. We now have a chance to use social media in a good positive way.


How your Mood May Be Affected During Lockdown

During a normal day we have many changes in mood some go unnoticed and some really stand out.  We have ups and downs and times when we are ok.

During this unsual and strange time you might find your moods are a  little different. They may feel more intense or different. You may find you suddenly feel incredibly low,  upset , scared or worried. Of course this can work the other way as well. You may find at some points in the day you are incredibly happy and hyper.
It is not unusual to feel like you want to cry. This is perfectly normal and ok. We are going through uncertain times and this can cause worry and stress.
Mood changes are normal.

What to watch out for

If you find you feel down all of the time and only have little moments of feeling ok, if you are spending more ond more time on your own away  from people, if your eating and sleeping pattens have changed dramatically,  if you have experienced thoughts of hurting yourself or if you have lost interest in stuff you would normally love  then it is time to find someone to talk to who can help you feel better.

Lots of people are perhaps feeling the same so you are not strange, weird or ridiculous. Finding the right sort of help is important to lift your mood.


Ten Tips for Coping with Change

Resource taken from: Staying Well At Home, Coping With Anxiety and Stress, A Free Work Book For Young People 11-19 Year Olds, National Youth Agency.
Love it or loathe it, nothing stays the same forever and change is inevitable.
But whilst some changes are exciting, unexpected changes and those that are
out of our control can be hard. The last few months have brought massive changes to the way we live our lives for all of us.
With schools and colleges shut, access to youth clubs and social events no longer
an option and sports provision closed for the foreseeable future, we are all having to adapt to spending more time at home.
Whilst how we react to these unprecedented changes will differ from person to person, here are some things that you could try to make things more manageable and help you cope with the ‘new normal’:

1.Acknowledge The Change.
Pretending that everything is the same won’t work. You will find it easier to
adapt if you accept that things have changed and that this is out of your
control. Try positive self-talk, e.g. ‘Things have changed and I will be OK’
to ‘coach’ yourself out of negative thoughts.

2.Acknowledge How You Feel.
 No one chose the changes we are experiencing and there is no one to
blame for the pandemic. It’s ok to feel stressed, just accept your feelings
and remind yourself that stress is just the body’s way of telling you that
things have changed. It’s normal.

3. Be Kind To Yourself.
To yourself and the others you are living in isolation with. Do things
you enjoy and that make you feel good and try and give each other
space so they can do the same.

4.Think Of The Positives.
Not everything that comes out of this enforced change will be bad. Try and focus on the positives, even consider making a note of the small ‘wins’ and new things you find that you enjoy.

5. Keep A Structure.
Try and get a routine to your days, it will help you feel a bit more in control. Whilst this is bound to be different to your usual timetable, having a bit of structure to the day will stop time drifting on and on...

6. Try To Eat Healthy.
Avoid the temptation to snack all day! Whist it’s fine to have a few treats,
eating healthily will help regulate your blood sugar levels, avoiding
sugar highs and energy dips.

7. Exercise.
For many people one of the biggest changes about life at home is the
lack of opportunities to exercise. Even if you are not sporty it is likely
that you will be doing far less now than you were a couple of months ago.
Try and get outside for the hour allowed by the government. Even walking will
help you to feel for more energised.

8.Have A Moan.
Whilst constant negative or angry thoughts are not going to be helpful,
taking it in turns with a friend or relative to let off steam by having a
good moan can help get frustrations out and clear your head. Alternatively
consider pouring your thoughts out in words; pictures or keep a video diary.

9. Task And Projects.
Set yourself a task or project to complete each day. This could be
something small like painting your nails or achieving 25 sit ups, or something
for the future like taking the time to do your CV. Either way, you will get a sense
of achievement when it’s done and you will feel like you are moving forwards,
rather than waiting for things to happen.
10. Get Help.
If you have tried all of these and are still really struggling with all the
changes in your life, ask for help and support. This could be from a trusted
adult or professional or try one of the organisations listed at the back of this
pack. Whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself. Getting help and support
early can stop things escalating, meaning that you will feel more able
to cope now and in the future.
Staying Well

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