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World Mental Health Day - 10th October 2021

2021’s theme - Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality

“Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.” - Mind.org.uk

When young people struggle with their mental health, they’re typically told to get help, yet don’t get much advice about ways they can help themselves. This is what Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is being told by young people directly.

Although there are many ways we can help ourselves, it’s important to recognise that sometimes getting support from a professional is needed and that’s OK.

Transitions UK, wanted to provide some accessible tools to support your own mental health. It’s why our volunteer mentors and staff got together recently to share some of the ‘solutions and ‘tools’ they personally use to preserve their mental health. The ideas we’ve shared below are generally known as ‘self-care; they are practical actions you can take to reduce stress and optimise your happiness. What better reason is there to start and/or continue practicing self-care?

Here are some of our favourite answers when we asked each other about what we each did to practice self-care:

- My puppy
- Going for a walk with friends
- Talking to my mentor
- I go riding
- Dog walk 😊 or spending time in the garden
- Sport - exercise - you always feel better for it
- Listening to music, yoga, seeing friends, gardening, walking the dog
- Looking after a fishpond
- Talking to people about my experiences, it normally helps people open up to me
- Seeing green spaces, looking at flowers, lighting a candle, chatting to a friend, looking for things to be grateful for
- Netball for me - I’m playing my first game of the season tonight and I can’t wait
- Escapism - whether reading, listening to music, out in the countryside, a good movie
- Having a good rant to my wife about how other people annoy me, then deep breath and go again
- Listening to music; having a sing and a dance around to my favourite tunes always lifts my mood
- Mindfulness, yoga, meditation, family/friends, colouring, out in nature
- Treat yourself kindly
- Journaling
- Expressing gratitude
- Play roller derby
- Baking bread
- Laughing is the best medicine - listening to funny podcasts helped me through night feeds
- Eating bread 😊

Isn’t this the best list ever? Why not give one or a few of these a try in your journey of self-care. Or maybe check out the Anna Freud Website which has even more ways to help you feel more yourself.

But if you’re a young person (or know someone that is) with mental health and emotional needs and you’re seeking ongoing support, then you why not find out more about our Affirm Project which is a targeted response to addressing those needs. Please get in touch by visiting https://www.transitionsuk.org/affirm

Our wraparound mentoring support, life planning and especially relational and therapeutic approaches are a fantastic help for young people seeking support for their mental health and emotional needs.

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