It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by daily life sometimes, and around exam season that pressure can really get on top of you. In times of stress, it’s super important to look after your mental health. Abby from Dorset, who recently accessed CAMHS (that’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), shared some of the tips she learned that might help you when you’re feeling that pressure.

“CAMHS has helped me manage stress by giving me lots of different techniques that I can use to help myself. For example, they taught me to put together a self soothe box, which helps when you need a quick pick-me-up. You can put all sorts in there – bath bombs, chocolate, books, pictures, music and activity cards for stuff you can do in an instant!

“Other techniques like daily activity logs and weekly planning can help you set out activities so your week isn’t crammed into one day, and you can feel relaxed about spreading your workload, such as doing 30 minutes of homework and then giving yourself a treat, whether it’s a bath, reading a book, baking a cake or going for a walk. This really helped me, because I noticed myself feeling lonely when I was on my own, so I was constantly thinking about what other people were doing and what jobs and work I still had to do. Planning it all out helped with my social anxiety too, because it made me feel in control of situations. It helped me to grow and ask my friends to go out and do things, instead of waiting to be asked, which was my main worry.

“This all really helped with exam stress too. The sessions taught me to space out my revision and keep calm. They reminded me that other people were worrying, just like me, and that if I failed I could always re-do an exam (even though I’d never failed before, it was still a big worry!).

“Going to CAMHS was an amazing experience which helped me with skills that I will use for the rest of my life.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or just want someone to talk to, you can find a list of helplines and websites on the Young Minds website. If you want to learn more about CAMHS through the Dorset HealthCare website.