Here are some ways we can help take care of our mental health:
Sleep is really important for your physical and mental health. Generally young people need around 8-10 hours sleep a night.
Finding it hard to get to sleep and waking occasionally during the night affect most people. But if you struggle to sleep most of the time this will affect how you feel and how well you manage during the day.
Here are some tips on how to help yourself have a good nights sleep.
- Set yourself a routine. Try and go to bed around the same time each night and get up around the same time each morning.
- Switch off your laptop/ tablet and leave your phone in another room or put it on silent so you’re not disturbed during the night.
- Do something relaxing such as taking a bath or shower.
- If you can try and make your bedroom dark, quiet and warm
- If you’re using your bedroom to study in, try to tidy away your things before going to bed.
If your sleep problems continue for a long time and you’ve tried the tips above, you might want to get some help from your doctor.
We all need to take some time to relax and rest. Life can be very busy with school or work and our body and mind needs a chance to take a break.
Here are some things you can try:
- Sport. This can be a team sport, like football or netball, or doing something by yourself such as, running or yoga.
- Watching TV
- Reading a book
- Doing a puzzle, crossword, suduku
- Mindful colouring books
- Crafting (sewing, model making, woodwork)
- Painting, drawing, pottery
- Playing an instrument
Sharing worries and problems
Sharing a worry or a problem can help the way we feel. When you are worried it can be difficult to stop thinking about the problem,and this can sometimes make the problem seem bigger and more difficult.
Talking to others about worries and problems can be hard, but if you can share your worries with someone you trust – a family member, a friend or perhaps a teacher – you might find it helps you feel better.
Drugs and alcohol
Drugs and alcohol can affect your mental health in different ways. Some people use them to deal with difficult feelings and emotions, however they generally make difficult emotions worse.
Sometimes your judgement is affected by taking drugs or alcohol. This means you may do or say something you later regret. You might do something risky and put yourself in danger.
Using some drugs and alcohol can also make a mental health condition worse. You can find information about this on the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.
You can help yourself by knowing the facts about drugs and alcohol if you are thinking about using them.
Finding the positives
Everyone has negative feelings at some time. You might be disappointed you didn’t get in the netball team or that you didn’t do well in a maths test.
Negative feelings become a problem when you constantly feel that everything you do isn’t good enough. If you feel like this a lot of the time it might help to talk to someone you trust
Finding the positives in things can really help your mood and your confidence. It’s often easier to see the negatives, so it’s worth trying hard at finding the positives.
Some things you could try:
- do something you enjoy
- listen to uplifting music
- make a list of the things you get done in a day.
- remember the last time you helped someone
- think of a compliment you’ve had recently
- write down 1 or more good things that happened today (no matter how small)
- set yourself some goals
We all experience stress. It’s a natural response and can help us get things done – like working towards a homework deadline or feeling stressed before you perform in a concert or a play.
However, too much stress over a long time can be bad for your physical and mental health.
It’s good to recognise when you feel stressed. Physical signs of stress include feeling sick, stomach pains, sweating, dizziness, a racing heart.
Having trouble sleeping or not being able to stop yourself worrying are also signs of being stressed.
These are things that can help:
- Making lists of things you need to do and tick them off when you’ve achieved them. This can help you feel more in control.
- Do some exercise. This can help take your mind off the worry, even if it’s for a short time. Physical exercise also has a positive effect on your emotions.
- Mindfulness exercises can help you focus on the moment and not on what you need to get done.
- Learn some relaxation techniques that you can use when you find yourself becoming stressed or overwhelmed.
Managing social media
Social media is a great for helping us stay in touch with friends and keeping up to date with interests. But it can affect how you feel. If you find that looking at images or following trends makes you feel upset or angry, then it’s worth thinking about what you look at or follow.
There’s lots of information and advice on keeping safe and how to deal with online bullying.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Choose the social media that suits your needs best. You don’t need to use everything available!
- Limit the time you spend on screen before you go to bed
- Unfollow feeds that you find upsetting, or you know affect your mood.
- Take a moment to think before you post something. How would this post make me feel?