We are 11 years old!

birthday-cake-11-yearsLifeSIGNS was founded in May 2002 to raise awareness about self-injury; since then we’ve grown and our mission has expanded. We do our best to provide ideas, inspiration and information across the web and we couldn’t do it without the many volunteers who have created and supported LifeSIGNS over the years. Several new volunteers have joined us this year to manage our social media channels, run our org, and help us improve our website, and we are now looking for a Director to help lead our organisation.

And we couldn’t have kept going without your help and support – as an unfunded charitable organisation, we rely on your donations and financial support. We’re very grateful that so many people get a wristband from us in February each and every year, and if you donate £5 this month, we’ll pop a fridge magnet in the post as our gift to you.

Adults facing stress

Adult pressures, whilst mostly affecting older people, can be a burden for some young people too. Everybody has responsibilities and pressures, and they can become overwhelming.

Some of the pressures more commonly faced by adults include financial responsibilities, juggling jobs and careers (or unemployment) with keeping a home running, increasingly complex relationships, and the pressure of being partly or wholly responsible for the care or well-being of others.

Adults are usually financially independent, budgeting for the cost of housing and bills, while worrying about keeping or finding a job to keep everything going. Adults are more likely to experience debt, and they are more likely to also have others depending on them to provide for them financially and emotionally. They are more likely to sacrifice their health and happiness for the sake of others.

Sometimes young people are forced to take on these responsibilities too; working to provide for themselves and sometimes also their families. And young people can also find themselves as carers, looking after a parent or siblings. These people lose out twice, because not only do they have responsibilities that they shouldn’t have for years, but they also often miss out on being cared for themselves.

General expectations might be greater for adults too. They might be expected to make fewer mistakes; to have learnt a lot more about life and how to cope with difficulties. And with so many support organisations focusing on young people, they might have less access to support.

LifeSIGNS does not focus on any particular age group or ‘type’ of person; we understand that people from any background can come to rely on self-injury as a coping mechanism. We focus on the drivers behind SI and the recovery journey.

Teens facing exams – and everything beyond

Exam stress is something every teenager goes through, and many teens are facing exams, and the worries about results, right now. The tensions build up gradually over weeks and weeks – you may feel there’s never enough time to fully prepare. Getting through the exams is only halve the story, as the stress can continue as you worry about how well you’ve done and what the results might mean for your future. There’s the constant dread that you might fail to get the grades you need.

There are ways you can try to manage and decrease your stress levels to stay as calm and focused as possible. Getting a handle on your stress is better for your health and happiness, and for your actual exam performance. Simple little things like eating healthily, getting enough sleep and a little exercise can do wonders. You may feel that revision is the most important thing, but remember that your brain learns best when it is interested – so take breaks every 20 minutes or half-hour and switch topics regularly throughout your revision session. Maybe take a day off here and there to relax, de-stress, and clear your head so you can get stuck in again the next day feeling all refreshed and motivated!

If you struggle with self-injury, or rely on hurting yourself during stressful times, please try out some alternatives and see if you can make use of some other ways to cope. Be kind to youself and try some different ideas that can take your mind off your worries – before you get so wound up that it feels like self-injury is the only choice.

But you must always remember that whatever the outcome of your exams, it doesn’t have to determine your future. Exam results really aren’t the be all and end all of everything. Life still goes on and you can still become who you want to become and live the life you choose to lead.

  • Browse our ‘Help‘ section for loads of ideas.

Jules, Elle, and Wedge, on behalf of everyone at LifeSIGNS.

We are recruiting for a new Director to join our team! We would love to hear from you if you have personal experience of self-injury, are passionate about the work LifeSIGNS does, and would enjoy volunteering your time and experience to help direct our charitable organisation into the future. If you’re interested, please visit our recruitment page for full details including role specification, requirements, and how to apply. We hope to hear from you.

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