Looking after your Mental Health & Wellbeing

Exam Stress – extracted from https://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/teenagers/school-learning/exam-stress

  • It is important to remember that every teenager will approach their exam season in their particular way and whether it is listening to music whilst revising or studying with friends together in a group
  • Give your child lots of encouragement so they feel more positive before they leave for their exam. Let them know how proud you are of them regardless of how they think they do
  • After each exam, allow them the opportunity to talk about how they have done and allow them to do the talking while you listen

It is important to remember that every teenager will approach their exam season in their particular way and whether it is listening to music whilst revising or studying with friends together in a group.

  • Accept that some people can revise better with music or the TV on in the background
  • Establish a revision routine by re-arranging the family’s schedules and priorities that works for them
  • Be lenient about chores and untidiness as much as you are able to
  • Give them a break and understand lost tempers and moodiness
  • Try to avoid nagging them as it can help them lose focus
  • It is never too late to study, revise or ask for help
  • Don’t go in for bribes; encourage them to work for their own satisfaction
  • Research good study sites such as BBC Bitesize for tips and ideas

Further resources 

It may help to chat to other parents on our forums to find out how they are dealing with this issue within their family life. You can also talk to us online via our live chat service, email us at askus@familylives.org.uk or call us on our helpline on 0808 800 2222 to speak to trained family support worker. If your teen wants to talk to someone about how they are feeling, they can text Shout 85258 for support. 

Deep breathing techniques – extracted from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coping-with-exam-pressure-a-guide-for-students/coping-with-exam-pressure-a-guide-for-students

How to control physical reactions to anxiety:
Deep breathing
When you become anxious your breathing becomes shallow and fast. Breathing slowly and deeply will help you calm down and feel in control.
How do I do it?
Sit comfortably with a straight back.
Place your left hand on your chest, and right hand below it, on your diaphragm.
Inhale deeply through your nose for 5 seconds.
Hold your breath for 2 seconds.
Exhale slowly through your mouth.
Feel the expansion in your diaphragm.
Repeat for 1 or 2 minutes until you feel calm.
The key things to remember are that:
You can learn to control anxiety with deep breathing.
Many people find it easier to learn with an instructor.
Yoga or mindfulness classes can also be helpful.

Newsround: Advice for children if they’re upset by the news: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/13865002

If you are upset by the news, it’s important to know that you are not the only one and it’s OK to have those feelings. You can rely on Newsround to tell you the important facts about a story – but some things you hear might be scary or make you feel worried. This section gives you some tips about what to do if you are feeling sad about what you’ve seen, heard or read.



Discuss the stories with your parents, or another adult you can trust. Sometimes things that happen in the world can make us sad, anxious or confused. It’s important to remember that upsetting stories are in the news because they are rare – they don’t happen very often. But what can we do when the news makes us feel this way?

Share your worries

Talking to an adult you trust is a good idea if you are worried about anything. If the news has upset you, talk to an adult you trust about it. It’s important to share what is troubling you.

It’s normal to feel upset

Sometimes what’s in the news can make you feel anxious. It’s important to remember that being sad, worried or angry about awful things that happen in the world around you is okay and perfectly normal. You won’t be the only one who feels that way. Adults get sad and confused too, so there is nothing wrong with feeling like this.

Do things that make you happy

family walking dogGETTY/ISTOCK

Try going for a walk with your family. Doing things that make you happy can help you to feel better. Watch your favourite film, take your dog for a walk or read some of your favourite book. Try to balance the news you read. If you read a sad story, then try and read a happy one before you go to bed If being worried is making it more difficult to sleep or if you are having nightmares, it’s really important to speak to an adult about this too. Here are some things you can do if you are having worried thoughts when you go to bed:

  • Remember things that make you happy and think about these as you’re going to bed, so your head is full of positive thoughts
  • Surround yourself with nice things by your bed – perhaps a happy photo that makes you smile – so this is the last thing you see before you sleep
  • Read a book you love that will help to settle your thoughts
  • If you have bad dreams, talk about it or even try drawing it. This will help you to confront your fear
  • Keep things with you that make you feel secure – even if it is your old teddy bear that you keep hidden from your mates!

Remember, it’s rare

Talking to an adult you trust could help you to feel better if there is anything in the news that is worrying you. Don’t forget – terrible things are on the news because they are rare and do not happen very often. Although people are spending a lot of time talking about it, it is still very unlikely that events like this will affect you or your family. The most important thing is that if you are feeling upset, don’t keep what’s troubling you about the news to yourself. Talk to an adult about the issue in the news that is worrying you. That can help you to understand what is upsetting you, and help those feelings of sadness, anger or confusion to go away.