Feeling down

We all feel down now and again. We can feel tired or listless or just ‘meh’ about everything. With the effects of the pandemic still around, it’s understandable to feel down at the moment. 

Feeling low or feeling down is not pleasant, but it is very common. In fact, it is one of the biggest reasons young people come to Jigsaw.

In this article, you will find:


Sleep and mental health

We all need our sleep. Regular, long stretches of undisturbed quality sleep is essential for our mental as well as physical health.

“Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day”, according to Professor Matthew Walker, neuroscientist, and author of ‘Why We Sleep’.

Many of the young people who attend Jigsaw face-to-face services report sleep difficulties as one of the issues they are facing.

In this article, you will learn:

How much sleep do young people need?

Our sleeping rhythms and needs change as we get older. Although we may feel we can manage with a certain amount of sleep, there are recommended times for overall health.

Teenagers need between eight to ten hours sleep a night, though they are more likely to get around seven. Adults require a bit less; between eight and nine hours. These guidelines may seem ambitious, or even unrealistic. But sleep is essential for your health and for cognitive functions like learning.

Research has proven when school start times are put forward to allow students to get more sleep, it leads to an increase in academic performance. In a 2018 study, a Seattle High School delayed its start time by an hour and saw a 4.5% increase in the median grades of the students. It also saw an improvement in attendance.

It is possible to sleep too much (over ten hours regularly). Find out the right amount of sleep for you within these guidelines to feel rested when you wake.

Ask Jigsaw: I’m self harming. What should I do?

I have recently started to cut my wrist and I’m not exactly sure why. I am an extremely shy person and could possibly have social anxiety. At first I thought it was a way of asking for help without actually talking to people but now that I have done it I am extremely scared of anyone finding out and am now terrified of what might happen. I don’t know what to do and need help. I am a very young person and shouldn’t even be considering on self harm. What should I do?


Hi Sarah,

Sometimes there’s no particular reason why people start to self-harm. It can quickly become a habit that’s difficult to break on your own.  

Ask Jigsaw: I miss my friend

I feel like I’m soo lost with how may life is going. I don’t really do anything. Everyday feels like nothing, with me doing the constant cycle of getting up going to school and home to my room.

I don’t have any friends except this one person I met online that live across the country from me over lockdown. We used to FaceTime every night for like 2 months(it was something I looked forward too every day)

But I don’t know if they want to talk to me now that lockdown is over as I feel like I’m annoying or they have other friends they’d rather talk to(he’s a very outgoing and has lots of friends ) as it’s been 3months since we talked properly and I don’t want to seem weird asking to call again as I’m scared we’d have nothing to talk about anymore and he’d think I’m stupid calling with nothing to say as my talking skills aren’t the best.

He helped me during a really lonely and dark place and he doesn’t even know that him just talking to me about random things helped and I miss it a lot


Hi Red,  

Losing an important friendship can change how we feel about everything, even the things that we previously enjoyed. 

Ask Jigsaw: Are my feelings enough to get help?

I have been feeling low and my days seem to mesh together. I have been to a doctor and it wasn’t much help. I feel like my feelings aren’t severe enough for me to get help. 

However I’m really struggling and feel like life is extremely difficult to live. I would just like to know if it is normal to feel like I’m over exaggerating what I’m feeling, and if I’m invalidating others that have severe mental health issues  



We hear from a lot of young people who feel their difficulties aren’t significant enough to get support. “It could always be worse they tell themselves to try and push through. 

Ask Jigsaw: Am I wasting my youth?

Why do I feel like I am wasting my youth? My entire family has struggled with massive drug and alcohol addiction so I try to stay away from it, but it feels like I’m wasting my youth. I’m so afraid that I’m going to look back at this time in my life and be full of regret. 


Hi Elle,  

Worrying about future regrets can have a big impact on the choices we make in the moment. The fear of regret can make us question even our strongest values.  

Ask Jigsaw: Anxious and nervous at school

I want to know why i can’t bring myself to want to go to school. i am a very social person at times and i don’t have any problems besides the few subjects but everyone has that problem. i feel very unmotivated, uncomfortable, anxious and extremely nervous at school. i was just brought home from school due to the fact i got sick because of the nervousness and anxiety. I want to be able to enjoy school but i don’t know how

-emily k

Hi emily k,

You are not on your own with this. We have heard from many young people who have started to experience anxiety as they start back to things like school and socialising. It’s great that you want to get back to enjoying school, and are looking for ways to do that.

Ask Jigsaw: Stress of college from home

Hi Jigsaw, 

I have just found out that all of my college lectures will be online. As a result, I will not be moving out. I’m very stressed and upset about this. I feel living with my family has resulted in the deterioration of my mental health. I can’t talk to my parents about it, as they are the source of this stress. Also I will very rarely see my friends. Any recommendations on managing this?


Hi Disa22,  

College life will be very different this year. We’ve heard from many young people who are feeling disappointment, stress, and anger because they are missing out on experiences that everyone else took for granted.   

Ask Jigsaw: Self-harming and feeling trapped

hi if you are self harming and your mam knows you have a history of it, is it ok for her to tell you to kill yourself and hit you even if it was a couple of times. everything is ok now but im not allowed leave the house because i’m grounded for drinking but she thinks i don’t have a phone and i feel trapped and i have started self harming again and having panick attacks.

Hi Tasha05xo,

It sounds like things are really difficult for you at the moment. Thank you for reaching out to us.