Sometimes it seems like we have little or no control over what we think and how we feel. But, there are things that you can do that will help you to feel better.
Food can affect your mood! There is a link between what we eat and how we feel so it’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet for both your body and mind.
Eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. Try these sites for brain food on a budget:
- Change4Life: easy tips and recipes
- NHS Choices: healthy eating for teens
- Royal College of Psychiatrists: linking eating well and mental health
Everyone knows that exercise is good for your body – but it’s also important for your emotional wellbeing. Scientists have discovered that exercise causes your brain to release chemicals that make you feel good. There is evidence to show that exercise can help raise self-esteem, help sleep problems, improve memory and concentration, takes your mind off negative thoughts, as well as reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.
Try these sites for more ideas:
Improving your self-esteem
Self-esteem is how you think and feel about yourself. Having healthy self esteem makes it easier to cope with life’s ups and downs. If you have low self-esteem, the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself tend to be negative. This can make you more prone to mental health problems.
Try these sites for some different ways to boost your self-esteem:
- Mental Health Foundation: wellbeing and positive thinking podcast
- Young Minds: top tips on how to boost self-esteem
Taking time to relax
Regular relaxation is beneficial for your mental health. If you make a regular time each day to practice some of the techniques below you will get better and better at relaxation and notice your day-to-day stress levels are lower. You will also become able to use relaxation at the times you need them most.
Try these relaxation techniques from Youthspace:
And this quick podcast from the Mental Health Foundation:
Another great way to relax is to practice mindfulness. This is the focusing of attention and awareness on the here and now, and is often used to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. It has its roots in Buddhism, though is used widely by people of all ages from all different backgrounds with all sorts of problems.
These Mental Health Foundation podcasts might help you relax and improve your sense of wellbeing:
Sharing what’s bothering you
Sharing what’s bothering you can help to make it feel more manageable. If you feel that the problems you’re having are too big for you to deal with by yourself you may want to get in contact with your GP, someone from school/college or someone else you trust.
These links might also be helpful:
- Not sure how to start a conversation with your GP about mental health? Check out the award-winning Doc Ready app
- Have a look at ChildLine’s short video about depression for young people
- We’ve designed a Cope-ometer to help younger children understand the link between stresses and mental health – but it applies to all of us!
- Check out the Thinkuknow guide to internet safety