Trigger Warning: We are exploring the lived experience of children making the transition from military to civilian life, which some may find triggering.
We know how challenging it can feel when a parent leaves the armed forces, and this is something you don’t need to face alone.
Forces Children Scotland is here to support you get prepared for making changes, and to help cope with how you might feel about making changes.
Would you like to talk to about how you’re feeling? We’re always here if you ever need us to listen.
Sometimes it can be difficult to feel in control when there is a lot of change happening around you. If you are feeling like this, or you know someone who is, there are a few different things you can try to do to help.
Remind yourself this feeling won’t last forever
Sometimes when we feel powerless, it’s because we’re struggling with the idea that the future change will be worse than it actually is. Remind yourself that whatever this next step is for you, it could be better than you think!
If you’re struggling, why not write down some of the positive things that will happen because of this transition you’re about to go through – you might find more than you expected!
You can also help a friend do this by talking to them, ask them what they have to look forward to because of this change.
Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t
When we’re faced with a new challenge, it’s easy for us to think about how big this might be and get swallowed up in the different things that are out of your control.
One easy way to help overcome this feeling is to remind yourself of what you have control over. It doesn’t matter how big or how small this might be. This might include: What you have for your breakfast, what you’re going to do with your evening/weekends or decorating your bedroom
By reminding yourself what you can control, you might feel as if you’re able to be a bit more grounded when faced with change!
Talk to someone
It’s always important to talk to people you trust about how you may be feeling. If you’re struggling with feeling powerless in the face of making big changes, talk to someone. This could be your parents, a teacher, or a friend.
You might be the person that someone talks to. Remember, be open and honest about how you feel – you might feel better after getting things off your chest!
When we move to a new place, we can sometimes feel lost and alone. If you’re feeling like this, there are a few different things you can try to do to help you feel better.
Self-care is the cornerstone of our mental health and wellbeing, and sometimes when we’re not feeling good we can forget to practice self-care.
Why not explore our Your Mind Matters Hub to discover what type of self-care might work for you?
We have a wellbeing quiz, lots of resources and much more.
Remember, it’s important to be kind to yourself, even if you feel you can’t be right now!
Try to make new friends when you can
When we move to a new place, we can sometimes struggle with trying to make new friends, or feeling as if we’re alone. Look into your new community, are there any groups or hobbies you can do to meet new people?
At school, you might find that there are other people who feel similar to you. Why not try to reach out them?
It’s also important to remember that if you’ve moved to a new place, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with your other friends. Keep those relationships going, they’re important.
Talk to someone
It’s always important to talk to people you trust about how you may be feeling. If you’re struggling with feeling powerless, talk to someone.
This could be your parents, a teacher, or a friend. You might be the person that someone talks to.
Remember, be open and honest about how you feel – you might feel better after getting things off your chest!
Feeling worried about what lies ahead can be a normal part of experiencing a big change. This anxiety, whilst normal, can sometimes feel overwhelming. If you’re feeling like this, here are some things you can try to help you feel better.
Explore our tips on anxiety
We have developed lots of different resources to help manage anxiety and the feelings of being worried about big changes.
All of these are available on our Your Mind Matters Hub – Why not explore these different resources and follow those tips?
Find out more about our resources about anxiety.
If you’re feeling worried right now, why not try to do something that will take your mind off of it?
List down a number of different activities you can try to distract yourself – these could include: Reading a book, going for a walk, playing a video game or talking to a friend.
Sometimes, rather than worrying about something you can’t control, doing something different can help.
Talk to someone
It’s always important to talk to people you trust about how you may be feeling.
If you’re struggling with feeling powerless, talk to someone. This could be your parents, a teacher, or a friend.
You might be the person that someone talks to. Remember, be open and honest about how you feel – you might feel better after getting it off your chest!
Ruby Boots Buddy Mentorship Project
Do you live in Fife? Did you know that we have an exciting new project which provides buddy mentors for young people who have a parents leaving the armed forces.Find out more
Join our youth forums
Looking to get together with young people with similar experiences? Join our youth forums to help shape projects and services, to develop new skills, build confidence and make new friends.Find out more
Your Mind Matters
Making changes can be challenging and affect how we feel. That’s why we have lots of useful advice, information and resources to help better understand and enhance mental health and wellbeing.Find out more
Try to remember this feeling won’t last forever, focus on what you can control and self-care is the cornerstone of our mental health and wellbeing
We’re always here if you ever need us to listen.
If you are concerned about your mental health, or if you have found yourself feeling concerned about someone else, you can also:
Call 111 – NHS 24
Call 116 123 – The Samaritans
Call 0800 83 85 87 – Breathing Space
Text: ‘YM’ to 85258 – Young Minds crisis chat
If you think you are in danger of hurting yourself or other people, you should call 999 or present to your local A&E department.