Wellbeing is a term that is used a lot, particularly when discussing one’s physical, mental, emotional and social health (the ability to form and maintain interpersonal relationships). All of these factors contribute to overall wellbeing.
At a time when we are all feeling increasingly stressed and under pressure, it is important to give children and young people the tools they need to adopt a positive mindset and encourage overall wellbeing.
Here are our 5 top tips for empowering children and young people to boost their physical, mental, emotional and social health to become more happy and healthy.
Step 1: Be Active
Physical activity is not only beneficial for your physical health and fitness; scientific evidence suggests it can also boost your mental health and wellbeing. It can help you to feel good both on the inside and outside by causing chemical changes in your brain, which can positively alter your mood and can help to:
- Raise your self-esteem
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Set goals and challenges, and be able to achieve them
Being physically active may be something you already do, or it may be something that is completely new. It is important to find something you enjoy or want to do. It is okay if you are not sure what this is yet, it can sometimes take a lot of trial and error. It is important not to try to do too much at once. Build up gradually to avoid injury and to meet achievable targets. Remember to allow yourself to have a rest.
Step 2: Healthy eating
Eating healthily and drinking plenty of water can help to improve our mood, increase our energy, and can also help to encourage a good night’s sleep. Remember to always treat yourself kindly by setting achievable goals.
You can try to:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Keep hydrated
- Reduce the amount of sugar and caffeine in your food/drinks
If you have an eating problem or worries about food, it is recommended to speak to your GP before changing your diet.
Step 3: Connecting with others
By connecting with other people, we can improve our mood by sharing our experiences and creating a support network for when we go through difficult periods. You could try to:
- Organise something fun with your friends/family
- Visit someone you haven’t seen in a while
- Meet new people by joining a club
Instead of trying to do things on our own, which is a normal human response, try opening up to friends, family or other people you trust. This can help you feel supported. Remember, it is always okay to ask for help!
Step 4: Taking time to do the things you enjoy
Taking time out of our hectic lives to do things we enjoy can make us feel happier and more relaxed. For example:
- A hobby, like playing a sport or doing something creative
- Spending time with friends and family
- Watching films, gaming or reading
- Playing an instrument
It’s important to find time to do things you find fun, or make plans to do things you love in the future. It’s like making an appointment with yourself for some well-earned “you time”.
Step 5: Getting a good night’s sleep
Getting enough sleep can be essential in boosting our mood, giving us more energy and making us feel more relaxed. Why not try these ideas?
- Go to bed at a time that allows you to get the recommended amount of sleep for your age category
- Cut down on screen time before bed
- Read a book or listen to relaxing music to wind down
- Use a blue light filter on your devices in the evening to help you feel sleepy
These are just a few ideas to help to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Good wellbeing doesn’t mean you always have to be happy – it is normal to have days where you may feel low, sad or angry. Just remember there are people there to help you if you feel anxious or overwhelmed.
Try adopting these tips into your daily life, and see if it helps you to feel more confident and ready to face the stresses in your life.
Written by Sophie
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