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Low Mood

It is normal to feel low sometimes. This happens to everyone at different times. Our mood can change when we feel stressed or bad things happen.

Big events during childhood and teenage years can affect your child’s mood. This could include situations like changing schools, moving house, hormonal changes, friendship or relationship difficulties, and parental conflict.

Some symptoms of low mood may include: 
• Anger or frustration 
• Low self-esteem
• Tearfulness
• Worrying
• Feeling anxious
• Feeling tired and lacking energy
• Changes in eating habits
• Withdrawing from friends or family
• Loosing interest in hobbies.

  • There are many small changes that could help your child:

    1. Connect
    Spend time together as a family. You could try reading, playing games, or eating meals together. Encourage your child to spend time with friends who make them feel good.

    2. Be active
    Try to be more active - this could help improve your child's mood. Begin with little steps - walk to school or go to the park with friends. Check out our Family Time & Moving More page for ideas.

    3. Keep learning
    Learning is important for our emotional health. It provides challenge and the wonderful feeling of having learnt something new. This could be helping your child learn to ride a bike or read a book. Learning can help build your child’s confidence!

    4. Give to others
    Try to smile and give kind words to those around you, including your child. Your child will see you doing this and learn that a small thing could make another person’s day.

    5. Be mindful

    Paying attention to what's going on in the present moment can change the way you feel for the better. Try out our meditation exercise with your child.

  • Helpful phrases when your child is feeling sad or low:

    • It sounds like you are feeling sad/angry/worried. Tell me more…
    • You seem sad/upset. Let’s talk about it…
    • We all feel sad sometimes. The best thing we can do it talk about it..
    • I feel sad sometimes too…

  • Meditation is one way of being more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Over time, it can help to improve low mood.

    Watch the video for an example of quick meditation activities to do with your child.


  • Paper Chain People Activity

    This paper chain activity can really help your child to see who is there for them. Ask your child to place themselves in the middle of the paper chain and draw those who are important to them on either side.

    Remind your child that they can always talk to their important people if they are ever upset or need help. 'I'll speak to daddy because kicking a ball helps me forget I am sad'. 

    The paper chain can be as big or as small as your child would like it to be. It can include family, friends, teachers or anyone who your child thinks is important to them. Your child will be able to use the Paper Chain People to remind them who to talk to if needed and is a visual reminder of the support around them. 

    Making Paper Chain People

    You will need:
    • Paper
    • Scissors
    • Colouring pencils or pens
    Your full attention and time

    1. Print/draw your template.
    2. Begin to fold your chain backwards and forwards.
    3. Cut around your people being careful not to cut between their linked hands.
    4. Ask your child to draw themselves in the middle of the paper chain. Ask your child who is important to them. Your child can draw these people onto his/her chain.
    5. Remind your child that they can talk to these important people if they are feeling low or sad.



  • Reading Well for young people

    Books about mental health for 13 to 18 year olds, with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, bullying and exams.

    All Shelf Help books can be reserved for free from any Norfolk library, or online by clicking here. The books are available to borrow for up to six weeks.


    Health Uncovered is a series of podcasts that aims to get young people in-tune with their health and wellbeing. The series is hosted by BBC Radio One presenter Cel Spellman and features young people and health professionals from our Norfolk Healthy Child Programme.

    Life isn't always easy - and young people across the country have been helping us explore the issues that they’re facing today. From online bullying to sexual health, body image to mental health. They've been asking the questions you want to hear answered, joined by the health professionals that help young people, like school nurses and mental health specialists, to provide solutions, support and understanding.

    Our service and young people have been particularly involved with episode 3 “me and my emotions” and episode 4 “are you ready?”

    Listen now!  The podcasts are free and you can listen via mobile devices, tablets and laptops.  Just search “Health Uncovered” in your favourite podcast app, like iTunes.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum. CLICK HERE

Just One Norfolk Community Forum

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