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Are you a wellbeing role model to children and young people?

May 14, 2018

Are you a wellbeing role model to children and young people?

I have been thinking about this a lot over the last few months, as I struggle at times to balance a busy life of work, study and family.  It’s not easy in the current climate with deadlines for everything and the pace of life being so fast, so do we need to press the pause button and consider if we are under too much pressure, feeling stressed or beginning to show signs of anxiety or depression?

The answer is yes, and often the only people that can give us permission to do this is ourselves.  As role models for children and young people we really should be leading by example and sharing ideas for self-care, talking about how we are feeling and exploring better ways of ‘being’ in the company of others.

There is still a lot of stigma associated with mental health conditions, so one of the ways to dispel myths and rumours is to talk about stuff.  Children and young people won’t confide in someone if they are not sure how they are going to respond, so we need to show them that we are available and want to hear what they have to say.  With levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts on the rise in children as young as 8, we all need to step up to the challenge.  

So, what can you do? 

  • Try out some of the self-care tips below and share them with your children and young people. 
  • Check out our training courses, where you will learn to spot the signs of a range of mental health conditions and find out how you can help;
  • If you are an employer, check out the ‘Mindful Employer’ website for a range of useful ways to support your staff and volunteers;
  • Check out some of the local organisations that help children & young people in Hertfordshire;
  • Celebrate ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ between 14-20 May 2018 and visit MHFA England’s campaign page for some great resources;

 Together we can become wellbeing role models, but we have to start the ball rolling.

Self- care tips;

  • Switch off social media/mobile phones for 1 hour a day.
  • Sit quietly in a room or outside for 10 minutes.  Watch the world go by.
  • Draw a picture or listen to some music for 10 minutes.
  • Drink plenty of water, it helps to keep your brain hydrated.
  • Stop and think about how you are feeling, and talk to someone about this.
  • Give yourself a ’Happiness Hour’ once a week, doing something that you really enjoy.
  • Look through your diary/calendar and plan some ‘down time’, if you don’t plan it, you won’t get it!
  • Talk about self-care and what makes us feel good with your children and young people.