Aunty Sprout: How Can I Distract Myself From Negative Stuff?

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Sometimes the negative things that happen in our lives get us down and it’s difficult to know how to get on with things. This is exactly how Esther is feeling when she contacted Aunty Sprout for help. Here’s her advice.

TheSprout has teamed up with Meic – the national information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people in Wales – which has posted as Aunty Sprout below!

If you have any advice to offer, please leave your comments below (it’s free and quick to comment but we recommend keeping posts Sprouty and anonymous!).


Hi Aunty Sprout,

I’ve been having negative stuff going on recently in my life and I want to know how to forget about it or get distracted.

Thank you

Esther (*name changed to protect their identity)

Aunty Sprout’s response

Hi Esther

Thanks for getting in touch with Meic. I’m sorry to hear that negative stuff has been happening around you recently. It’s really good that you’ve reached out to Meic for advice on how to forget about it and distract yourself.

Why not think about things you enjoy doing, which you can still do during the Covid-19 lockdown? You could write a list that you can take out when you’re felling low and pick something to do. If you’re stuck for ideas, then we have some suggestions that can distract you from negative thoughts and low mood.

headphones for negative feelings article

Music for the soul

Listening to, playing and dancing along to music can really help to banish those blues. Music touches us in ways we can’t even fully explain – it can be spiritual, uplifting, fun, relaxing and energising. Why not make a playlist of your favourite tunes? Choose ones that you know will help lift your spirits when you’re feeling low. Check out Meic’s Spotify playlist that we’re starting to put together – we’d love to add your music choices to this list – suggest some tunes through our social media.

row of coloured pencils

Get creative

Pull out those art and craft supplies. Did you know that art is used as therapy sometimes? There’s good reason for this. It’s a great way to express your emotions, especially ones that you may have been bottling up for some time. Play with clay, make models, draw, paint, create a collage or a mood board, sew, knit or take photographs. There are lots of things you could try.

pencil nib on blank piece of paper

Pick up that pen (or keyboard)

Staying with the creative theme, writing is also another great way to express your feelings. You could keep a diary, try and create some poetry, write a short story or make lists. You don’t have to show what you’ve written to anyone, the act of getting it out on paper can be a release and can help shine a light on the things in your lives that you want to change or improve.

Fairy tale scene under a book

Escape into a book

Reading is a wonderful way of switching off those worrying thoughts. By escaping into another world your negative thoughts can disappear for a while and leave you feeling uplifted. Why not re-read your favourite books, or try some new ones?

If you’ve read everything you have at home then you can download e-books through your BorrowBox with your library ID and PIN. Click here. There is a chance that your local library might be opening soon too.

Trainer and weights for negative feelings article

Get that heart racing

Physical exercise is high up there with activities known to have a really positive impact on our physical and mental well-being. If you’ve tried something and hated it, then don’t let this put you off. Try and fit some activity into your daily routine, here’s some ideas:

  • While the leisure centres are closed, Byw’n Iach Cymru have been creating some home workout sessions and tips on their YouTube channel.
  • Download the NHS Couch to 5K app and start running.
  • If dancing is something you enjoy doing then cardio dance might be great for you, like this one from Jamie Kinkeade.

There’s lots of different things you could try until you find something you like: walking, dancing, running, cycling, exercise classes, and yoga are all things that can be done during lockdown. Search ideas online or take a look at our previous article, 4 Ways To Exercise While In Lockdown.

Zoom app on a phone screen for negative feelings article

It’s good to talk

Stay in touch with friends and family. New lockdown rules means we can now meet with one other household, in the open air, keeping a social distance of 2 metres. You could also call, text, Zoom, Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, Snapchat and so on, and so on! Why not arrange a quiz or play ‘name that tune’?

Try new things

Try something new, maybe something from the list above. Challenging yourself is a great way of distracting you from the daily humdrum and negative thoughts. Getting to grips with a new skill is great for self-esteem and can give us the confidence to try other new activities.

Meic contact details for negative feelings article

Talk to Meic

Sometimes though, despite trying your best, it can be hard to distract yourself and forget about your worries. Meic is here to help. You can talk to them about anything. Our helpline advisors will help you to explore your options and plan what things you can do to help yourself feel better. You can contact them by telephone, text or chatting online between 8am and midnight every day.

Meic also has lots of articles that can help, check out their article section here, or take a look at a recent article about staying in control of your mental health during the Covid-19 crisis.

I hope this has helped.

Take Care

Aunty Sprout


If you have a problem or question that you would like some advice on, why not share it with TheSprout communityHere’s what’s been asked before on the new Sprout and here’s the Aunty Sprout archive on the old site.

Your entry will be posted anonymously, as we’ll change the name on it. Also, remember to have a look at the Info section. You can of course always contact Meic directly – www.meic.cymru.


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