Wellbeing is a state of being comfortable, happy and healthy. There are many aspects that contribute towards our mental health including relationships, physical health, confidence and feelings of safety. Emotional resilience is a person’s capacity to adapt to challenging situations, whilst maintaining a stable wellbeing. This is something that can be developed through different strategies provided by Mind and Every Mind Matters:
Practice being straightforward and assertive in communicating with others. If people are making unreasonable or unrealistic demands on you, be prepared to tell them how you feel and say no.
Use relaxation techniques: You may already know what helps you relax, like having a bath, listening to music or taking your dog for a walk. If you know that a certain activity helps you feel more relaxed, make sure you set aside time to do it.
Develop your interests and hobbies: Finding an activity that’s completely different from the things causing you stress is a great way to get away from everyday pressures. If stress is making you feel lonely or isolated, shared hobbies can also be a good way to meet new people.
Make time for your friends: When you’ve got a lot on this might seem hard, but it can help you feel more positive and less isolated. Chatting to friends about the things you find difficult can help you keep things in perspective – and you can do the same for them. Laughing and smiling with them will also produce hormones that help you to relax.
Find balance in your life: You may find that one part of your life is taking up almost all of your time and energy. Try to make a decision to focus some of your energy on other parts of your life, like family, friends or hobbies. It’s not easy, but this can help spread the weight of pressures in your life and make everything feel lighter.
Looking after your physical health can also help you to look after your mental health and reduce feelings of stress:
Get enough sleep: Stress can often make it difficult to sleep, and can cause sleep problems. Getting enough sleep can help you feel more able to deal with difficult situations.
Be active: Being physically active is important for both our physical and mental health. Even making small changes such as going for a regular walk outside may help you to feel less stressed. Ideally, secondary school age pupils should do 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. There are lots of different types of exercise and lots of online apps to help – please click on the images for further information:
myfitnesspal – A great app that helps your track the amount of physical activity you are completing alongside your food intake so you can reflect on how health your lifestyle is.
Couch to 5K – this fantastic app features training sessions that allow you to develop your endurance over 12 weeks to build up to a 5km continuous run. Suitable to complete beginners.
Fiton – this is a fantastic way to find a whole variety of workouts suitable for your fitness level and interests. From cardio, to core, to kickboxing workouts, you can choose what interests you and just press play!
The Body Coach – Joe Wicks’ YouTube channel is filled with lots of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts which can be done in your own home. Joe takes you through each move and provides motivation throughout the session.
Photo Credit: https://saturdayandsunday.co.uk/
Eat healthily: When you’re stressed, it can be tempting to skip meals or eat too much of the wrong kinds of food. But what you eat, and when you eat, can make a big difference to how well you feel. Try to start your day with a healthy breakfast and if you are hungry between meals try and snack on fresh fruit or vegetables. You should aim to eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables a day as these contain lots of important vitamins. Likewise try to limit the amount of sugary and fatty foods that you eat in a day. Whilst its important to treat yourself, this has to be in moderation. Remember that drinks contain sugar too.
We all have different mental health needs and sometimes this means we need to get some extra help to manage how we are feeling. If you are worried about anything at all, there are lots of people you can speak to inside and outside of school. There is lots of information about the help available below and if you aren’t sure what’s best for you, speak to your tutor or pastoral manager and they can help you to access the support you need:
Where to go for help
Photo credit: Raul Petri
Pastoral Managers – your pastoral manager is based in your year office in either L-Centre or A Centre.
Tutors – you can find your tutors in your tutor base at the start of each school day.
School Nurse Drop in on Tuesday lunch times in the community room in the resource centre.
Counsellors – Your pastoral manager can refer to our school counselling service.
Medical Officer– If you feel unwell, you can find the Medical Officer in the House.
Outside of school
We appreciate that sometimes you may prefer to seek help outside of school and so you will find some useful links below to websites and services that offer help to young people who need support with mental health and wellbeing:
Mind – what we do: we provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.
Be in your mate’s corner – time to change – be there for your mate.
Young minds – find help. Whether you want to know more about how you’re feeling, get information about a mental health condition or know what support is available to you, our guides can help.
Relate – there are all sorts of reasons why you might want a bit of extra help from Relate. Things might be worrying you at home or at school, or you might need help and advice with your own relationship.
This section is for any young person who’s having problems. We can help.
Anxiety UK – do you often feel anxious, fearful or stressed? You’re not alone. There are millions of people like you. However, we can offer you an extensive range of expert help designed to help you to control your anxiety rather than letting it control you.
Childline – get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.
Barnardos protect, support and nurture the UK’s most vulnerable children. They help bring out the best in children, no matter who they are or what they have been through.
Headspace – a great resource to find strategies using mindfulness and meditation to help support mental health.
Meetwo – the Meetwo app allows you to talk anonymously about difficult things with other people of a similar age or experience.
Chill Panda app – fun engaging games and calming activities e.g. Help Chill Panda face his fears with Calming Exercises such as Square Breathing and Yoga. www.chillpanda.co.uk
Below are some of the websites where you can access LGBT advice and support:
Mermaids: 0208 1234819 – firstname.lastname@example.org
GIRES: Gender Identity Research and Education Society: 01372 801554
Gender Trust: 01527 894838
RUCO: A safe support group for young people