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If you’re looking after someone – maybe your Mum or Dad, brother or sister, grandma or grandad, or someone else, you might feel a bit worried or stressed at times. Read our guide on stress and how to stop your ‘bucket’ from overflowing:

What is stress?

Stress is a natural feeling from our body and is completely normal. Our stress response system gets our brain and body ready to solve problems and tackle challenges. And when we overcome the problem, our brain “feels good” and remembers this good feeling.

You might feel stressed for many different reasons, maybe it’s a test coming up at school, a doctors appointment, or something you’re dealing with at home. Stress is a natural feeling – but did you know there are ‘good’ types of stress, and ‘bad’ types?

What is ‘good’ stress?

‘Good’ stress happens when we tackle a situation we can manage or control. This could be from something like standing up in class and reading out your work, going to a new place on holiday or moving house.

‘Bad’ stress happens when you don’t feel like you can control the situation – so this could be from things like you or your loved one being sick or getting injured, money problems or bullying.

Stress bucket – how full is yours?

Imagine there’s a bucket you carry with you which slowly fills up when you experience different types of stress. If you don’t manage to let out some of the stress in a helpful way, then this could mean your bucket overflows and leaves you feeling anxious, worried and upset.

Sometimes you feel strong enough to carry a lot of stress, but it’s important to find activities which help you lighten the load. Turn on the tap and let some of your stress bucket out by finding things that make you calm:

  1. Try writing down your thoughts in a book or journal
  2. Talk to others – parents, friends, or a trusted adult or teacher about how you’re feeling
  3. Get outside – nature is great for destressing! Go for a walk, bike ride, or just take time to sit outside and listen to the birds.
  4. Find a hobby you enjoy – crafting, baking, doing a sport or class can all be ways to take your mind off your stress and worries and let your body and mind relax.
  5. Have a bath or take some time to look after yourself in whatever way you like best.

Find more support for young carers

If you’re looking after someone, we can support you. Find out more and what support is available, from 1-1 support, carer cafes and more here. 


*Stress bucket model taken from Stress Bucket Model (Brabban and Turkington 2002)