Enhancing children and young peoples Emotional well being during COVID
Emotional well being is as important as our physical health as health is wealth including emotional/mental health. Well being is a State of being comfortable, healthy and happy but peer pressure, social media and others stresses of life (bullying and low confidence) can prevent you from thriving and achieving as you should in school.
Emotional well being is being able to understand, identify, manage and regulate your emotions. Some useful questions to ask your children is have you noticed any changes in your body, is anything on your mind , are you worrying about anything and what is your biggest fear or concern about returning to school during COVID 19. It may also be useful to ask if they children or young people are experiencing any nightmares or struggling to sleep. An intolerance of uncertainty fuels worry and negative predictions about the future which we are all facing therefore uncovering these can be useful and helping your children or young people to work towards managing this.
Why is it important to address this?
- 1 in 10 young people aged 5-16 years old experience a mental health problem
- 20% of adolescents may have a mental health problem in a given year
- 70% of children that need help with their mental health don’t receive it at an early enough stage
- 50% of mental health problems are established by aged 14 and 75% by aged 24
- Effects your school and examination performance
5 steps to well being
- Connect – spend time with those who are important to you -family and friends and build these relationships. Well being can be transferred through relationships and connecting can increase your sense of belonging and self worth.
- Be active as this improves your mood and releases happy chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin. Why not consider Walking, playing football, jumping on a trampoline, shopping, making cleaning exciting or some type of exercise. Its important to do something that you will enjoy otherwise you won’t stick to this.
- Keep Learning – try something new or have a hobby and maybe learn a language. What have you been putting off now is the time to seize the moment.
- Be mindful – Mindfulness is being in the present and taking a non judgemental stance which helps to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Why not try a mindful breathing exercise and check out our youtube video.
- Give to others – a smile , cook a meal for family, buy a friend some lunch or give them a thank you card or text. Give compliments or even volunteering or helping out at home
Bonus Tips for improving your emotional well being
- Limit the time you spend on social media and realise that what people portray isn’t necessarily the reality. We only post our best photos or when we’re having fun. How many friends do you know that post pictures of them with a bad hair day.
- Focus and build upon your strengths and not weaknesses. This approach will build your resilience muscles and protect you from stress, anxiety and depression.
- Relaxation Exercises – Progressive Muscle Relaxation can help when reducing physical signs of stress and anxiety
- Optimism -Try and ensure your cup is half full and not empty. Look for the positive in situations and not only negatives. Identify opportunities and not only threats when in difficult situations as this will help with reducing your stress and anxiety.
Accredited Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
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