Difficult events and experiences can leave us with low mood. It could be relationship problems, friendship issues, loss or bereavement, sleep problems, exam stress, problems at school or at home or bullying. Sometimes it’s possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason. This can be often confusing and frustrating. A low mood can include: Sadness Feeling anxious or panicky Worry Tiredness Low self-esteem Frustration Anger But a low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks. A low mood that doesn’t go away can be a sign of depression. Depression is when you are feeling persistently sad for weeks or months. Symptoms of depression can include the following: not getting any enjoyment out of life feeling hopeless feeling tired or lacking energy not being able to concentrate on everyday things like reading the paper or watching television comfort eating or losing your appetite sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep having suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself It’s important to remember, if your low mood has lasted for longer than two weeks, go and see your GP and speak to them about this so that they can look at whether more specialist help is required. If you are having continued suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself, you should speak to someone as soon as possible or ring NHS 111 TIPS When we feel low, sometimes the idea of talking to someone might be difficult, however speaking to a parent or carer or a trusted adult can really help to put things in perspective. Going out for a walk, a little exercise can start to increase feel good chemicals in your body. Keeping a journal of your feelings can be helpful, and when speaking to someone, a journal can help you explain what things are like for you. Self-help techniques can include activities such as meditation, breathing exercises and learning ways to think about problems differently. Mindfulness is a great way you can help to manage your emotions. By focussing on the present such as concentrating on what’s happening right now. By doing this you should be able to gain an awareness of your feelings and thoughts. By understanding and practising mindfulness, you can learn to cope better with stressful situations. SIGNPOSTING You can contact BUZZ US to discuss this anonymously. You can ask school or college to contact Compass BUZZ and request support so we can support your teacher with ideas about how they can support you. Website www.youngminds.org.uk is a great website that promotes mental health and wellbeing for young people.