World Mental Health Day takes place on Wednesday 10 October, with a focus this year on supporting children and young people.
Young people can experience a range of mental health problems. Childhood and teenage years are a time when young people are changing rapidly and developing all the time, often coping with unfamiliar challenges like exams, relationships and the other pressures of growing up.
Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of but it is something to think about and take care with, just as you would your physical health. ‘Self care’ is important for us all to practice and is any steps that protect, maintain or improve their mental health.
Here are our top 5 self care tips, for people of any age:
- Spend time with people you love. Sometimes when you have a ‘bad mental health day’ it’s easy to want to hide yourself away. If you feel able, why not reach out to friends and family and suggest some quality time? Take a picnic to one of Wirral’s many parks or even just spend some time chatting over a cuppa. Sometimes a diversion from your thoughts can be enough to improve your mood.
- Indulge yourself… This sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong! Some days, self care may take the form of a treat! Why not make your favourite dessert or stop off at Café Creme for a scoop of vanilla. Whatever you choose, just enjoy it and don’t feel guilty. Remember, everything in moderation.
- Volunteer. Sometimes self care can mean taking care of someone else. Volunteering (or just offering to help someone out) can make you feel better about yourself and less alone. Check out options for volunteering in Wirral at communityactionwirral.org.uk
- Keep a mood diary. This can help you keep track of any changes in your mood, and you might find that you have more good days than you think. It can also help you notice if any activities, places or people make you feel better or worse. Taking time to notice your moods in a non-judgemental way is an act of self care.
- Get moving. Exercise is proven to improve your mood and mental health. Whatever your ability level, getting out into the fresh air is a fun and easy way to take care of your mental health. Take a stroll along New Brighton Promenade, a dip in Europa Pools or, why not join a charity fun run and raise some cash for a mental health charity while you’re at it?
If you are feeling a bit down or worrying about your mental health, or if you’re a parent/carer living with a young person experiencing mental health issues, visit the Mind website for advice and guidance on how to get the right support. Wirral CAMHS service also offers support for young people aged 0- 13, including an advice line: 0151 488 8453.