Help getting through it myself
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- Take a deep breath and try to calm down—don't panic. You may want to find somewhere quiet and safe to sit and think through your situation first before talking to someone. This will help you get clear on what is happening and how you might want to deal with it.
- You can't avoid problems forever, but sometimes it can be good to take a break for a few hours—do something to distract yourself and cheer you up. Watch a funny movie or hang out with a mate who makes you laugh.
- Go for a walk along the beach or through a park or the bush—get out of your own head. Sometimes you can find a quiet spot with no-one around to let it out—have a cry, scream at the ocean, let it all go.
- Write down your troubles—this can be a great outlet. Just start with a blank page and write whatever comes into your head or draw pictures and scribble—do whatever you feel like doing. You can keep these pages and have a look at them later, or you can throw them away or burn them (a symbolic way of letting go of problems).
- Keep a journal about your life, your thoughts and feelings—this can be a good way to keep track of all the things you have been through and how you have dealt with stuff. It can be really great, when you feel lost or unsure, to have a look back through your diary and remind yourself of all the things you have faced and gotten through—it will help you believe in yourself.
- Think about your situation and the options you have. Make a list of positives and negatives. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Are there any good things about this situation? What action can you take? What choices do you have? This will help you take control of the situation and recognise how you can change it.
- Sometimes, if you feel really down, it can be helpful to make a list of all the things you are grateful for, or all the things that make you happy—this can help you to see the other side of things, that not everything in life is bad or hard.
Sometimes it can take a great deal of courage to pick up the phone or jump on the net but there are people ready to listen and to help you. Remember, it makes it easier to get through a problem if you have someone else to talk to, whether that be your mates, your parents or just someone on the other end of the phone (try Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800)).
Improving your self-esteem
- Try to love yourself for who you are—there is only one of you in the world!
- Practice "self-care"—make sure you get enough food, sleep, good company, exercise and relaxation. Looking after yourself is very important when you are going through hard times. Taking good care of yourself will help you feel better.
- Try not to get caught up with how you look or how you match up to girls/guys on the TV or in magazines. These are unrealistic images that have been changed or adjusted. You are fine just the way you are!
- Try not to worry about how popular you are or how many friends you have—quality of friendships is more important than how many you have. Invest your time in the people who will love you just as you are and support you whenever you need it, rather than people who are only around for the good times.
- Set goals that you want to achieve. This could be on a daily basis, monthly basis or perhaps where you wish you be in one year's time.
- Take pride in you, your thoughts, values and beliefs!
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