When the days get short and it’s all dark and chilly outside, it can be easy to feel a bit rubbish about life. Combine that with everyone being mad busy getting ready for the festive season and wrapping up their years, feeling lonely is normal. The most important thing to remember is that you are never alone in feeling lonely, and there are lots of things you can do to cheer yourself up. 

1) Do all the things that make you happy 

When you feel a bit lonely, it can be really easy to wallow in it. But putting on sad songs and sitting in your room alone is only ever going to make it worse. Instead, do all the things you love doing solo. Whether it’s art, exercise, watching movies or playing video games, doing things that bring you joy will make the time go faster and make you feel fulfilled. 

2) Hang with the family if you can 

If your family is kicking around, use this time to have a bit of quality time with them. Suggest a few day trips, a meal out, a trip to the cinema or just a night in chilling. If you don’t get on with them so well, now might be the chance to spend a little bit of fixing what’s been going with you. Sit down over a cup of tea and talk to them. We know it’s easier said than done, but it might be the best or even only chance you are going to have to do this for a while. 

3) Get a temp job

The festive season sees every shop, pub and restaurant desperate for people to help out during the busiest period of the year. Have a look in your local town and hand a few CVs around. It will be a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, get you out of the house and earn some extra dollar in time for the new year. Chances are, there will be loads of people your age that are doing the same thing, so you might just make a whole new bunch of friends through it as well.

4) Meet people in other ways 

Loads of organisations look for extra volunteers at this time of year as they host things like Christmas dinners for vulnerable people, soup kitchens for homeless people, and food banks are super oversubscribed. Try volunteering for something and meet people through that. It will get you out of the house and spreading some of that Christmas good karma. 

5) If your friends are just away for a bit, try and get a FaceTime in

It might just be that your pals have all gone their separate ways for the festive period and you feel a bit lonely and left out at home by yourself. Well get active about staying in touch with everyone over the holidays. Hit up the group chat for updates on their lives or just spam them with GIFs and memes. Set up a FaceTime with your best friend so you feel connected, or reconnect with someone who might have fallen off your radar lately. 

6) Make a plan 

Use this time to get organised about next year and make some plans. Whether it’s for your holiday next year, where you want to move to in a few years or even just ways you can work on yourself next year, this is a great time to think about the future. We know that when you feel lonely, it’s really easy to get caught up in how rubbish your present is, but thinking about what lies ahead can give you hope for pulling out of your loneliness. Plus, some of these plans will almost definitely involve getting out and hanging out with people at some point soon, and that’s definitely something positive to focus on. 

7) Remember, loneliness doesn’t last forever

Feeling lonely can be all consuming, and it can make you feel like it is going to last forever. The thing is, it absolutely doesn’t have to, you just need to be proactive. We know it can make it all feel a bit pointless, but loneliness is only ever going to end if you help it to. So get out and do some of these things, meet some new people and feel connected. 

Need someone to talk to? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors in confidence here.

It’s World Mental Health Day! We know that talking about yours can be rough and pretty scary, so we have come up with this quick guide about how to talk to your friends about mental health.

Talking to your pals about anything remotely serious can sometimes be a bit of a tall order, especially when you guys are pretty much living life in your own personal sitcom. But sometimes, when the laughter stops and you go off home, some in your friendship group (or even you) might be having a pretty tough time.

That’s why we think it’s pretty important that everyone be able to have a chat with their buddies about mental health – so that everyone has someone to go to. We know it’s awkward though, whether you go to them or they come to you, which is why we put this speedy guide together on how to do it.

If they come to you…

1) Don’t judge

This one might sound obvious, but lots of us can quite easily slip into thinking “what do they have to be depressed about?” or “they’re just being dramatic”, even when it’s a close friend that is coming to us. Try to reprogramme these thoughts when someone comes to you by thinking about how hard it must have been for them to come to you and what you can do to help. It might be that you or someone else is going through stuff too, but that doesn’t make what they are dealing with any easier. Remember that this person has confided in you because they trust you and they might just want someone to talk with now.

2) Just listen

If your mate approaches you with something they want to talk about and you’re not sure what to say, just lend an ear and listen. You don’t have to know everything about everything, and whilst it is super nice that you want to help, telling them to do the wrong thing could make a sticky situation worse.

If you really want to help, you could suggest that you both do some research about the next steps to take or find someone who can help. Alternatively, you could just be honest and say “I’m not sure how to help, but I’ll always be here to listen.”

3) Don’t make it all about you

Sometimes you can use your own personal experience to help someone else and that’s fine. But if you’re just changing the subject to talk about yourself when a friend is trying to talk, this is pretty unhelpful for them. If you can genuinely relate to what they’re going through then there’s no harm in telling them that, but always be mindful of the fact that they chose to confide in you.

If you go to them…

1) It doesn’t have to be face to face

Talking face to face is the best way of communicating for some people, for others, it can be literally the worst thing in the world. Instead, try sending a friend a quick message explaining what you are dealing with – you might find it much easier to talk about their feelings over text or by writing it down because it gives you more time to think about what you’re going to say. You could even start a group convo with some trusted mates and create a space where you can all talk about your wellbeing in a group chat.

2) Keep it casual

If you’re worried about a mate or want to talk a friend about your own mental health, you can do it in a casual way to avoid things getting too intense. You could bring it up when you’re playing a game or doing something else so that it’s not the main topic of conversation. This kind of conversation is great because it normalises talking about mental health. The more we talk about it, the less stigmatised it becomes! Here are some things you could do together whilst talking:

  • Go for a walk
  • Play a video game
  • Do something creative like drawing or painting
  • Do each other’s hair/makeup
  • Go to the gym

3) Give this a read

We know that having the conversation about something big in your past or what’s going on in your life can be really difficult, and being worried about getting it right can be a huge added source of stress. We put together this list of tips on how to open up about your past to someone in your life, and it should give you a bit of guidance on how to do it right.

Most importantly…

Always take them seriously

If they ever say that they’re feeling suicidal, or words to that effect, it’s really, really important that you take them seriously. You can help them by:

  • Notifying a trusted adult ASAP (parent, older sibling, teacher, family member)
  • Encouraging them to speak to someone at The Samaritans. You can speak to someone over email, on the phone, in person, or even by post 🐌 – find out more here or call 116 123. If they don’t want to speak to anyone, you could call on their behalf to get some advice.

Look out for each other

The best thing to do is just look out for each other everyday. Know the signs. If your friend is acting a bit off, it can be as simple as just asking them ‘are you okay?’.

If you or your friends are struggling and need someone to talk to, head over to the Ditch the Label community and we will listen.


For more information on talking about mental health, check out Time to Change 

For us, Halloween is pretty much the best night of the year. Dressing up, scary movies and loads of trick or treating chocolate (even when you are way too old to be pounding the pavements asking for sweets). The thing about it is it can get pretty expensive for most of us on a budget, especially when the costumes are crazy and the celebrations are many. That’s why we’ve thrown this list of last minute Halloween ideas together that are so cheap it’s actually scary. 

1) The most obvious one of course – scary movie marathon 

In our mind, it’s not Halloween without a movie marathon. If the classics like The Shining, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street don’t feel like your thing, why not do a viewing of the worst scary movies ever made. Sorority Row? Hell yeah.

2) Throw a pumpkin carving party

Make a day of it and head to your nearest pumpkin patch to pick your own, or just pop down to Tesco and grab a butternut squash. How ever you decide to do it, pumpkin (or squash) carving is a great way to get your spooky fill without breaking the bank. 

3) Do a budget costume competition 

With prizes for the worst dressed, most imaginative, and weirdest material, this could be a pretty hilarious way to celebrate the return of winter. Expect A LOT of toilet roll mummies and bed sheet ghosts.  

4) Cook a Halloween themed feast

Hit up some recipes on the internet for the cutest (or most disgusting looking) Halloween treats and get your pals over to eat it all in front of the Horror channel. 

5) Tell ghost stories 

This is a total classic. Get the torches out, put them under your chin like you did when you were at camp, and see who can tell the spookiest story. That’s how Frankenstein got written so it might make you a millionaire one day. 

6) Go old school with your Halloween party 

Make like your seven years old again and get the squad together for the most vintage halloween party you can possibly have. We are talking apple bobbing, we are talking pumpkin carving, we are talking Rocky Horror and eating those huge pick and mix bags of trick or treating chocolate.

Feel like you need some help getting over your fears? Take a look at our blog for help defeating all the big things you are scared of

So as you guys may or may not know, it’s Fear Season over here at Ditch the Label, meaning we are all about spending the spookiest month of the year facing all our fears and leaving them in the dust. 

Being alone can suck right? Who would want to be alone for ages, especially when all your pals are coupled up? Well, this is a pretty common feeling. We all have that friend (and if you don’t have that friend, you are that friend) that is ALWAYS in a relationship. Whenever they *cough* YOU *cough* feel scared of being alone, it’s pretty common to jump headlong into the next relationship with someone who will probably not end up being so great for them. Good thing you guys have us right, we’re here to get you feeling pretty damn ace about being alone. 

1) Being alone can be fun 

No, seriously. Hear us out. It might feel like being alone totally sucks and you’ll end up binge watching Netflix until you get eaten by cats, but it definitely is not like that. Being alone can actually be pretty awesome. You can make your own choices, do whatever you want when you want, and do it well. We aren’t saying that you can’t run your own life when you’re in a relationship, but there is so much freedom in being alone.

Want to go on a solo adventure in a week’s time? Book it. Feel like watching whole boxsets of The Office? Grab the laptop. Really fancy a chinese for dinner? Eat that fortune cookie baby. The point is, you can do all of this without someone getting upset you skipped forward an episode without them, or that you took a full hour to decide where you get your take away from. 

2) Get good at downtime 

One of the best things about being alone is the downtime. If everyone around you is couple up, you also get a lot of it. So get good at it. Find some awesome things to do in the evenings that help you relax and chill out after a long day. Whether that is a full pamper spa moment, besting everyone at Rocket League or something else entirely, you will get super good at taking downtime for yourself. And enjoy it – it won’t last forever.

3) Fill your life with awesome hobbies… 

Ever really wanted to do something but never had the time? Now is probably the best time for you to crack on with it! You will probably never have as much disposable income, as much free time or as little obligations again for the rest of your life. So, try out for a local sports team and meet some new people, take up art, get absolutely boss at Rocket League and try out for an ESports team, even take a few classes in things. Whatever it is that floats your boat, float the hell out of it now. 

4) …And some damn awesome people

Just like you can now fill your time with all the things you love most in the world, you can do that with people now too. It’s a universal truth that whenever we get into a relationship, we often forget to hang out with our best friends. Well, when you are riding solo you can spend a ridiculous amount of time with your ride or die crew. Do all the stuff you love doing together, even if they have other halves they can bring along. Need a giggle about being the last single one in the group? Check this out.

5) Don’t put so much pressure on yourself 

Yeah, we know that somewhere in the back of your brain there is probably a part of you that is telling you you need someone right now, even if you are telling the whole world something different. Well, try not putting so much pressure on yourself. Why not take a moment to recap everything you’ve done since being single, and all the awesome stuff you are going to do. Go out and have some fun. Just do what you need to do to remove the pressure. 

Maybe the pressure doesn’t always come from you, and your parents or friends are trying to get you back into the dating game for whatever reason. If this is the case, sit down with them and casually mention that you are not interested at the moment and are really enjoying spending time just as you. Tell them just how important it is to you to get good being alone, and hopefully they should understand.

6) Find your single crew 

So even if you do have loads of time to spend with your best buds in the universe, chances are a few of them are coupled up themselves and maybe don’t have a huge amount of time to give to you right now. That’s completely fine. But try finding a crew of people that are in the same place of their life as you are. That way, you have people to go out and do fun single stuff with when your coupled friends are at home or on holiday or whatever. Trust us, it will make you feel better, and will save some arguments with your besties in the long run. 

7) Don’t compare your chapter 10 to someone else’s chapter 20

It’s incredibly common to compare ourselves to other people, in every aspect of our lives but especially when it comes to relationships. But just because your friend from school is celebrating their anniversary doesn’t mean that you are in any way wrong or broken because you are the same age and riding solo. People’s lives move at different rates, and just because you feel behind everyone else in relationships does not mean that you are. You are exactly where you’re meant to be, so you do you. 

8) Remember, people should earn their place in your life

Don’t settle. DON’T SETTLE. This is a self love journey that you are on right now, and it’s all about getting yourself to loving yourself at 100%, with or without someone else in your life. And here’s the thing. If you only love yourself at 20%, someone could come along and love you at 25% you can be all like “wow, this person is incredible, they really want the best for me”. But if you love yourself at 100% with or without someone else, anyone who wants you will have to really go above and beyond for you. 

You deserve the world, so one more time for the people at the back. DON’T SETTLE.

9) Know that you will meet someone someday, if that’s what you want 

You might not want a relationship at all, and that’s totally fine. But if you do, know that one day, there will be someone that comes along that fits into your life and it will be amazing. They will love you at over 100%, and will probably be pretty happy to do most of the fun stuff on this list with you just to be with you. That person is out there, and you are not broken for not having found them yet. And before they do come along, you gotta have the time of your life. 

Check out our ambassador Max Hovey’s post about being the last single one in the group.

It’s one of those crappy things that everyone has to go through at some point in life. Unless you are currently living a dream where you are going through the universe followed by the word ‘Yes’ everywhere you go, it’s pretty certain that at some point someone somewhere has told you ‘No’. Whether it’s a bad break up (#thankunext), a uni or college you wanted to go to, a job you wanted or a friend at school who is leaving you out – being rejected is a part of life that, more often than not, we suck at dealing with. But, never fear. We’ve come up with this list of some reasons why it isn’t the worst thing in the world, and how you can continue to crush it after a setback. 

1) Take a breath

When you first feel that rejection, it can feel like a punch in the stomach. Like when your best friend has decided they want to hang out with someone else and not you, or you get turned down for a date with your ultimate crush. It can feel really crap. 

Instead of reacting in anger or begging or doing something else you might regret later down the line, take a moment to gather your thoughts and calm yourself down. If you need to, this is a great time to practise some breathing exercises. After taking a bit of a breather, you might find it isn’t quite so bleak, and can start formulating a bit of a plan to get back on track. 

2) Talk to someone 

When your crush has rejected you or you’re going through a break-up, possibly the best way to start to work through the shit associated with it is to try to open up to someone in your life about it and get it all off your chest. Your pals are sure to give you all the support and love you need, and will be there to help you see that there are plenty more fish in the sea. 

Letting some other people in your life know what you are going through will mean they will be able to understand if you aren’t feeling or acting like your usual self and can point you in the right direction for when you are ready to accept it and move on. 

3) Get on the road to acceptance 

In some cases, there isn’t anything you can do to change someone’s mind to make the outcome more like something you want. Like, you can’t really get on the phone to a uni or a job and beg them to change their minds – it’s probably not gonna work. In cases like this, the only thing you can do is accept it. 

Accepting rejection can be really tough, and sometimes, we just never really get over it. A great way to get on that road though would be to take a moment, and then write down all the other paths you can take. Looking at all your other possible options and amazing pathways you can take from here will not only help you feel better, but may even be grateful for the option to take another route.   

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4) Learn from it 

No matter how bad it might feel right now, you can learn stuff from any rejection. For example, if you didn’t get a job you wanted, you can ask why. If you have found yourself at the end of a relationship, in a few months you might be able to look back on what went down and take something from that. If a friend has started to ignore you, there are lessons you can learn about maybe what you did to prompt that behaviour, or if you did nothing, there are lessons you can learn about what friendships might be bad for you. 

Basically, no matter how much you might wish it weren’t true, every day is a school day. 

5) Don’t let it control you 

It’s super important to remember that there is a line between learning from it and letting your experience control you and all the choices you make. So, you could be rejected by a job you really wanted to get to make some money in your spare time. You could learn from this experience by getting some feedback on why you didn’t get it and trying to improve or change that for the next time you go for a job. But if you decide you never want to pursue work in that industry and you will never go into that shop/café/restaurant/area of town ever again – that is letting this one experience control your life.  

It is completely natural after being rejected to feel like you need to take a break though – and this can be great for you. Whatever it was you have been rejected from, take a bit of time away from that part of your life and enjoy some time just for you. 

6) Know when to quit

Of course, every time you don’t get what you want out of something, it doesn’t mean you have to quit. Sometimes, carrying on with something after experiencing rejection can be good for you – like if you have a setback at school or uni and decide to push through and you might get the grades you set out for after all. 

Sometimes though, knowing when to call it a day in the face of rejection can be a good way to help you let go and move on. If you are finding that whatever is going wrong is really not working for you, take a step back and revaluate whether it is really worth carrying. If you think maybe it is not for you, have a think about all the other pathways that are open to you, and try to let it go. 

7) Remember: everything happens for a reason 

It might sound like a bit of a silly thing to say when you are feeling like total rubbish, but it is true. Everything happens for a reason. Not getting that job might land you a better one, not going into that uni or college might give you the greatest friends and experiences at a second choice option, falling out with a friend could show you who are really the best people in your life and enduring a break up might one day lead you to the best relationship you’ve ever had. 

Rejection can be totally crap in the moment, but in the long run, it isn’t so bad. 

Need help dealing with rejection? Speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here.

It’s halfway through October already, and that means we are halfway through Fear Season. In case you didn’t know, we are all about conquering our fears this October, whatever they may be. 

Being scared of getting into a serious relationship can be pretty rough, especially when it seems like everyone in the world is in one. It’s like that classic angel and devil on the shoulder scenario – a little bit of you is super into a new relationship until something inside you slams the door shut, and often you don’t even know why. So whether it’s being exclusive or it’s the idea of saying ‘I Love You’ that send shivers down your spine and makes you feel like you’ve been on the waltzers at the fair for over an hour, we got you. 

1) If you aren’t ready for one, that’s ok

There has never been a rule book that says you have to be ready for a relationship on a certain day. There’s a pretty big difference between not being ready for a relationship and letting your relationship fears stop you from being happy. We know that knowing the difference is half the battle, so we have come up with a couple of things to think about below. 

2) Don’t feel like you HAVE to do or be ANYTHING

So what if everyone else is in a relationship? We all live our lives at different paces, and some people are ready to jump into relationships much earlier than others. Don’t compare your chapter 10 to someone else’s chapter 20 – you might not get to that chapter for years yet, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

3) Know you are NOT broken

It can be easy to feel like you are a broken toy when everyone else seems to find it so easy to slide into relationships and you are still trying not to hyperventilate at the idea of a fourth date. The most important thing to remember is that you are absolutely not broken, and are 100% right. Sometimes, you don’t want a relationship, sometimes you feel too much pressure, sometimes, you simply aren’t interested. It is all perfectly OK.

4) Think you might want something? Try dipping your toe in the water 

Think it might be fear of the unknown that’s got you running scared at the mere mention of a date? Just try it out! There is no one rule that says every single person you go on a date with is going to work out or that you even have to see them again. We aren’t saying go running around town with Tinder, ghosting everyone after one Five Guys, but meeting people is a great first step to figuring out what you want, which is the only way you’ll ever be able to build something that lasts.

5) Be honest with the person you are with 

Being on the same page is so important for a lot of things, but especially this one. At the end of the day, if something is starting with someone you like, hurting them should NEVER be on your agenda. Honesty is always the best policy here, and you owe it to them and to yourself to sit down and have a proper conversation with them about your fears and concerns. Get on the same page, and give them the chance to move on and find someone who wants the same thing as you. It doesn’t mean you are destined to be alone, it just means you guys want different things right now, and it will save you both a lot of pain in the long run. 

6) Check yourself…

So you’ve hit fifth date panic mode, and when you aren’t excessively sweating, you are planning a fake exit from the country? Well, this might be the sense of looming relationship status that’s driving you right now. Ask yourself

  • Is there a genuine reason why you are reacting like this? 
  • When you calm down, in your day to day, do you always feel like this? 

If not, maybe take a step back, breathe and try to think about the situation rationally before pressing send on the break up message. Try these exercises for calming yourself down and de-stressing to get you in the right headspace before you have a big chat. 

7) … But trust your gut

A big thing that most commitment-phobes will do when they are out in the dating game is, because they are second guessing every thought in their heads, stick to a relationship that was never right in the first place. Ask yourself:

  • Do you feel attracted to them? 
  • Do you miss them when they aren’t around? 
  • Do you want to tell all the random shit that happens to you during the day? 
  • Is it easy to be around them and do you want to drop their name in conversations that have nothing to do with them? 

If the answer no to all of these, maybe it isn’t the commitment-phobia talking, and just your brain actually doing you a solid and getting you to move on. 

Having relationship trouble? Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here and we will listen to you.

So, all your pals are coupled up and you couldn’t be happier for them, right? Still, it can be a bit shit being the last single person in the group. Fifth wheeling and riding solo can be a nightmare when your last wing-person bites the dust. Well, we know how ya feel. Check out this list of struggles that only you can understand. 

1) Getting the gang altogether is now your full-time job 

Which is funny, because getting the whole gang together in one place to hang out like old times is now also completely impossible. You would think that technology would make organising stuff easier but surprisingly, it really doesn’t. 

2) Going out means you are flying solo for at least half the evening 

Because it’s impossible to get the gang together for anything without the other halves in tow, a night will probably result in you going solo when they all get coupled up. It’s chill though, because you are a strong independent person. 

3) No one has any money to hang out with you…

Relationships are shockingly expensive, as all your pals now know. And you know now too, because no one has any money to spend on fun with you because it’s all gone on Dominos pizza, Nando’s and cinema tickets. Just wait until they all start buying houses together. 

4) …And even if they do, you will always end up third wheeling anyway 

 When they do eventually have enough money to spend time off the sofa with you, you probably will end up being the person who has to buy their own burger in Nando’s because they’ve bought a chicken and three sides to share. 

5) Everyone looks at you with pity…

The look. You know which one we’re talking about. That one where people kinda tilt their head to the side, when you make a joke about being single, and look at you like you’re a puppy without a home.

6) …And they all ask you about your love life all the time, or lack of one 

Why oh why do people in relationships assume your personal life is fair game for open discussion?? You’ve probably considered making stuff up just to keep them entertained but you know it will only invite more questions. 

7) Everyone assumes you want a relationship 

Because who doesn’t want one? Well it turns out plenty of people have really good reasons for not wanting to be in a relationship, and you are one of them. So, you do you, don’t let the world tell you what shit to do. 

8) If you do get some time with the crew, it becomes a recap of everyone’s latest relationship dramas

Gone are the days where you chat total rubbish about video games, makeup, YouTube or how much homework you had that you didn’t want to do. Prepare your best pretend ‘I definitely want to hear this story about your partner for the sixteenth time’ face, because it’s coming whether you like it or not.  

9) But they are all still your friends…

No matter what, they are still your best buddies in the world, and despite everything, you still love them to pieces.  

10) …And they will always have your back…

They still want to wing-person you when they can, and they definitely will still write your opening messages on Tinder for you because they want to help as much as they can if you ask 

11) …And if you’re really lucky, all their other halves are your pals now too 

Your gang just got a hell of a lot bigger. It might not be rosy all the time, but your mates are still your mates, and their other halves could always bring something new to the group that can be pretty amazing sometimes.

Want to read more? Check out this article by Max Hovey on his experiences of being the last single guy in the group.

Got something you want to share? Need some advice? Head over to our support community here.

So, the big week is finally here and it’s time to ship most of your worldly possessions to a far-flung corner of the UK so you can start Fresher’s Week, or to your first uni house with all your best buds. Exciting right? Well, it might not be so great if you have anxiety. We’ve got some great tips on how to cope, so you can still enjoy every moment without feeling overwhelmed. 

1) Go at your own pace

… Especially if this is the start of your uni journey. It can be really easy to get swept up in the craziness of freshers week, and the pressures of making friends, knowing a new town and doing well when the real work starts. Instead of trying to do too much, make sure you do the first few few weeks at your own pace and on your own terms. If you want to take a break from the craziness, do that. If you want to take in the city on your own instead of joining a tour, do that. This is your experience, remember that. 

2) Take a moment to yourself when you need it 

So it’s the big night out with your new or returning pals, and you are feelin’ it. But then, when people start coming over before you all head out, you suddenly feel that familiar feeling of panic building. Don’t feel like you have to do anything you don’t necessarily want to. Forcing yourself out when you don’t feel good is a quick way to end the night on a low.

Instead, when you feel yourself starting to panic, go to your room, close the door and put on some chill music. Sit on your bed or chair and focus on breathing steadily and evenly for two minutes. That should hopefully have you feeling a little more like yourself. 

3) Schedule some time every week for you to do you 

Everyone can get caught up in the whirlwind of life from time to time, but a good way to keep a lid on anxiety is to make regular times throughout the week to check in with yourself. If you need to chill and watch a movie alone, do it. If reading makes you feel better, curl up with a good book. Whatever it is, it should make you feel relaxed, and give you the chance to put a little distance between yourself and the day. 

4) Keep in touch with those close to you 

We all do it. Head off into the world and quickly forget to stay in touch with all the people we love. If you throw a messages in the group chat, call your family or WhatsApp your best friend, it might help you feel a bit more grounded. The people in our lives before uni have known us for ages, so they will understand if you want to chat about what is making you feel so stressed. 

5) Find out about uni mental health services 

If you are worried about your anxiety and stress levels, find out about where your uni mental health services are. They should have loads of information, groups and other things that can help you out without having to be referred by the GP, and it could really help you keep on top of it. 

6) Find an ally 

Even if you only find one great person at uni to be your ally in your anxiety, it’s great to have someone around who can be supportive of you. For tips on making friends at uni, give this list a read

7) Stay on top of your diet 

Pot Noodles and balck coffee might be the staple of your life when you aren’t at home with a fridge full of delicious food bought by your parents. The thing is, a bad diet can have a lot to answer for. It can make it harder for you to cope with stress, can mess with your sleep, ruin your concentration and keep your mood low for days. Try making sure you are having three meals a day, and if at least some of that is made up of vegetables, you’re laughing.

8) Step out of your comfort zone once in a while 

It might seem a bit counter-intuitive to get out of your comfort zone if you are dealing with anxiety, but giving yourself the chance to see what you can do when you are at your best is a good motivator. You never know, you might find a new hobby that could make you happy, or meet some awesome new people that could help you through your anxiety. 

9) Get organised 

Tidy room, tidy mind, and all that. Keeping your spaces clean and clutter free can make them a really relaxing place to be, meaning that, when your day has been a bit much, you aren’t also overwhelmed by the volume of dirty laundry that covers your bedroom floor. Mark your plans in your phone so you don’t end up double booking yourself, and you can see when you have some busy times coming up and can prepare for them. 

10) Remember, you aren’t in this alone

Having anxiety can make you feel lonely, especially when you are at uni where everyone seems to be having the best time. It’s really important to remember that you are not alone in this, and that you can get through it. 

If you feel like you need support, you can speak to one of our trained mentors confidentially here.

There are times in life when your best bud will do something and you’ll sit there and think “if anyone else did that, I’d be so annoyed right now”. That’s not to say your best friend doesn’t annoy you – that’s probably why they’re your best friend – but somehow they seem to get away with absolutely everything. So we’ve made a list of all the annoying things your best bud does… yet gets off scot-free. 

1) They’re Never on Time

It doesn’t matter what time you tell them, they’ll always be late. You can tell them you’ll be there in half an hour, two hours time, even give them three days to get ready and you know they’ll still be 5 minutes late just to get on your nerves. It’s almost impressive how good they are at it. 

2) They Know Everything

Easily the worst part of having a best mate is the fact they know everything you’ve ever done. Even the things you’ve forgotten about. And, for some reason, they only remember the embarrassing stuff. 

3) They Use It Against You

It doesn’t matter how much you trust them, you never know when they’ll next embarrass you with stories about that time you farted out loud in class in year 5.

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4) They Trip You Over

It’s classic banter to trip up your buddy or make them walk into things or push them into bushes. And your best mate knows this. And does it to you. Regularly.

5) They Come Round and Eat Your Food

Like when they come over to yours and eat three packets of crisps. Do they not have crisps at home? Animals.

6) Then They Never Leave

Oh that’s it, by the way. Once they’ve come round they’re staying. And they’ll always stay that extra bit longer than you want just to annoy you. Just hope your parents don’t ask if they’re staying for dinner.

7) They Know That One Thing That Annoys You

They know exactly what to do to push your buttons. That exact one thing. Like making loud eating sounds because they know it really, really gets on your nerves.

8) And They Know When to Do it

They’re very timely with their annoying behaviour. They’ll message you late at night when they know you’ll be asleep just so they can wake you up again. It’s clever really.

9) And They Don’t Stop Doing It

Worst of all, it’s relentless. You’ll be sure it’s gotten old and they’ll have stopped doing it by now. But just when you expect it least, they’ll do it again. The commitment to being annoying is almost admirable. Almost…

10) They’ll Always Be Your Best Friend

The most annoying thing they do is being your best mate. Forever. You’re stuck with them. You joke about getting rid of them, but really it’s great that you’ll always be best buds over long distances, time apart and even if you only see each other once a year. No matter what happens, no matter how much they embarrass the hell out of you; you wouldn’t change them for the world. 

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So, your best bud is experiencing their first heartbreak? It might seem like there is literally nothing you can do to help them out of the emotional pit they’ve probably fallen into over the last few days or weeks, but trust us, there is lots you can do to help them get back to their old selves. Give these 9 tips on helping a friend through a break up a whirl, and see if you can get them to crack a smile. Worried about a pal? Get some confidential support from the Ditch the Label Community here. 

1) Let them feel what they need to feel 

After a breakup, your pal might be pretty emotional. It can be tempting to try to drag them out of it straight away, but they need to feel it and work through these feelings at their own pace. We know you mean well by jumping straight in with an all-singing all-dancing broken heart cure, but give them the space to breathe and adjust to newly single life and they will come around to it much faster. 

2) Don’t go on about it all the time 

So, letting someone feel what they need to is one thing, asking them about it all the time is another. If they want to talk, that’s cool, but try chatting about other things as well to take their mind off it, if only for ten minutes at a time. 

3) Get them out of the house 

Get some fresh air and go for a walk somewhere where they won’t run into the ex. Explore the countryside near where you live, head down to the beach, or just go around the shops for an hour or two. Fresh air and exercise are a wonderful thing for a broken heart, and are known to boost serotonin and basically make you feel a lot better about life. 

4) Be there if they need you 

It might be that talking about your feelings isn’t really your thing, but dealing with them is so much easier when you talk about it. If they decide to strike up a conversation about how they are feeling, listen. We’ve got loads of tips on what do when your mate wants to chat, which you can find here

5) Maybe steer away from the clichés

Giant box of chocolates? Break-up movies? Barricading yourselves in a room with the Playstation and zero personal hygiene? Try thinking outside the box and break away from the old break-up traditions peddled in rom-coms. 

Why not try to convince them to go to the cinema rather watch movies in PJs, a trip to an old school arcade rather than playing Playstation, or out for lunch instead of junk food in bed? All will get them out of the house and help take their mind off it. It’s a lot better than reminding them of what they are going through simply because they are doing all the same stuff that Elle Woods does in Legally Blonde, or Peter in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

6) Get the whole squad together 

So they might be your best bud in the group, or maybe you’ve just been through it and know how hard it is. But, don’t feel like you have to handle the whole situation alone. Get the squad together for a few big days out, or tag team with your group so that you get a bit of time for yourself and your life as well. It’s not all on you to help them get over the ex. 

7) Don’t rush them 

Sometimes, we can feel better for a bit and bump into the ex, or come across their jumper in the laundry, and we can go back to square one. This is so normal, and if your pal suddenly gets a setback and goes from going out all the time to back in their PJs, don’t get mad at them for it. Just remind them how far they have already come and that they can get back to that place again in no time, and that you will be there to help them out when they need it. 

8) Be the guardian or their phone/social media

We have all been there. Post break-up and thinking it’s a great idea to send a message to the ex, telling them you miss them, or how great your life is without them in it. Trust us, this is likely to end in some serious regret. So, if they ask you to be the guardian of all messages for a few weeks to stop them doing this through the worst bit, then do it. They probably really trust you to do this, so take it seriously. 

9) When they are ready to move on, be the best wing person you can be 

You’ve got them through the worst of it. Now for the fun part. Be the best wing person you can be for your newly single buddy, and go out and have some fun. Meet new people, get excited about new relationships together, and get back to enjoying your friendship. You guys are probably as close as The Rock and Kevin Hart by now, and it’s time you both got back out there.

Need some help with a bad breakup? Speak to one of our trained mentors here