Coping with regret

It can be hard if you regret how things have turned out, or you blame yourself for what’s happened. Whatever’s on your mind, we’ve got some tips to help.

What is regret?

Regret is when you feel like you should have done something differently to change what’s happened. You might be thinking about something in the past, whether you should’ve done things another way, or you might feel guilty for how you behaved.

Feeling regret doesn’t always mean you’ve done something wrong, but it can have a big effect on how you feel.

Ways to cope

Whatever’s happened, there are things you can do to help in the future:

  • Talk about it
    Sharing what’s happened with someone you trust can help you to see things differently and feel better. Remember, you can always talk to Childline.
  • Focus on the future
    Use what’s happened to help you learn what you to do in the future instead of focusing on the past. Try making a list of what you would do if your situation happened again.
  • Say sorry if you need to
    If you’ve done something that’s hurt someone else, saying sorry can help them to realise you understand what you’ve done and can make it easier to move on. But only do it if they want to talk to you and it’s safe to do so.
  • Take your time
    Everybody makes mistakes. Taking time to acknowledge how you’re feeling and talking about it can help you find new ways to cope and feel differently about yourself.
  • Take care of yourself
    Being kind to yourself and making time for things that help you feel good is always important. Remind yourself that mistakes in the past don’t have to define who you are in the future. If you’re struggling to cope, we’ve got ideas to help.

Want to get something off your mind? Try sending an email to Childline.