Can I change how I feel?

When someone you love is very ill or has died you can have lots of different feelings. Some you understand and can give a name to and some that you can’t you only know that you feel all horrible inside and your feelings are making you act in a different way from how you normally are. At home things may be very different, but at school things may stay the same – you may find yourself feeling and acting very differently at school than you do at home.

When we have lots of feelings all jumbled up inside it helps if you……

Find someone to talk to about our feelings, your teacher, a friend, a grown-up or even your pet or teddy. Talking about how you feel can make you feel better and it also lets other people know how you feel so they can help you.
If you feel ANGRY it’s important to let anger out in ways that will not hurt people or things … To let all the angry feelings out you could

• Tell people that you feel angry
• Talk about why you are angry & what it makes you feel like doing
• Scribble hard on lots of old newspaper, scrunch it into a ball and throw it away.
• Punch your pillow
• Write down all the angry words you can think of and tear the paper up
• Run or walk fast till you run out of breath
• Stamp your feet, clap your hands, jump up and down and shout !!
• Write down what has made you feel angry

When you feel worried, frightened, confused or lonely you may feel differently if ….

• You hug someone special
• Talk to a grown-up and tell them how you feel and what you are worried, confused or frightened about.
• Draw a picture about how you feel – colour in the picture using colours that are the same as your feelings
• Go for a walk or a bike ride or play out-doors in the fresh air.
• Cuddle or stroke your pet
• Make a list of all the people you know who love and care about you, and all the things they do for you.
• Make something to give to someone – it may be a picture, or card or paper flower or even a cup of tea.
• Do something to help someone
• Read a book or do a puzzle to take your mind off things

When you are not sure how you feel and are just feeling very fed-up it sometimes helps when we are alone to say loving things we wanted to say to the person who has died or is very ill and to talk to them quietly in your head. Telling them about your day and things you have done.

Thinking about the person you love but can’t be with may make you cry – everyone needs to cry, men women and children. Sometimes you might feel you will never stop crying but you will find that crying makes you feel better.

You could make a special memory box or book, about the person you are missing. By collecting things that remind you of them and things you have done together you may start to remember all the fun and good times.

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