Everyone gets bad feelings sometimes, maybe it’s the mixed up feeling you get in your tummy before a test at school or the sweaty hands and worry you feel before going to the dentist.

If you’re a young carer, you might get these bad feelings a lot more often because you’re not only worried about yourself, but the person you look after.

So what actually are these bad feelings? Why do we get them? And what can you do to stop them?

Worrying

Usually the bad feelings we get are caused by worrying or thinking about things that might happen or have already happened. Maybe you’re worried about going to school because the person you look after will be left home alone, and then the feelings start making you feel not quite right.

But why does it happen?

Don’t worry – it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. The bad feelings you get from worry or feeling nervous happen because your brain tells your body that there might be danger – even when it’s coming from your own mind!

How can we stop it?

The most important thing is remembering that everyone feels these bad feelings every now and then. But if you’re getting them a lot, or it’s making it really hard for you to go to school or even go out with your friends, think about telling an adult, a teacher, or someone you trust. Sometimes just talking about the bad feelings can make everything feel a lot better.

Breathe

Breathing sounds like a silly thing to do because we do it anyway, right? But if you feel a bit nervous or worried, just taking some time to breathe in and out can help you calm down and get your body feeling back to normal. Another thing you can do is imagine breathing in your favourite colour, or a colour that makes you feel calm like blue, and breathe out all the bad thoughts and feelings with a colour, like grey or black.

Draw

Drawing – even if you think you’re not very good at it – is a great way of making your mind think of something else for a while. Pick some of your favourite colours and just start doodling, or drawing something that makes you happy like your dog, your favourite place, or a sunny day. You don’t have to be good at it to have fun – and you never know, you might surprise yourself with how your drawing comes out!

Talk

Talking to people not only makes you feel a lot better but maybe you’ll find out that your friends or family also get the same feelings from time to time. Just knowing that other people know what you’re going through and what you mean by the bad feelings is a great way of feeling in control again. Just remember you’re not alone. Remember to talk to someone you trust so that they can get you the help and support you need to start feeling better.

If you want to talk to someone online, have a look at Kooth which has free, safe and anonymous support for young people. You can also find help on Childline for all types of issues or problems.