Today marks the beginning of Children’s Mental Health Week. Leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be is ‘encouraging young people and adults to look after their bodies and their minds.’ This is an absolutely vital message to spread because if children can practice good mental health at an early age; then these techniques may start to become habits that they can take into adulthood. Plus as a community we want all our children to live happy and healthy lives.
Here I have compiled helpful tips from Children’s Mental Health week website. There’s also plenty more information on their site, which you may find interesting.
Tips for Children
Have some fun
Do something you enjoy and concentrate on how it makes you feel. This could be a sport, playing an instrument, or reading, there are many possibilities here. Notice your happy, sad, excited, etc.. feelings and ask yourself why you feel this way.
Seek advice from your friends and family and find out what they do to look after themselves. They may inspire you!
Choose one thing you can do that looks after your mind and your body. Examples include: writing a journal or blog, I wrote a post on 5 easy journal tips to get you writing if you need inspiration! You could also choose to do something active or relaxing – whatever works best for you, do that.
Tips for parents and carers
Have a chat
Have a conversation with your child about how they can look after their body and mind. Ideas such as walking the dog and turning your phone off before bed are all included on Place2Be. I would definitely recommend getting fresh air when you can.
When your child has practised good self care, give them praise. If they think they are doing something right, they will continue.
Many children use social media to compare themselves to others, so it is important that you remind them that there is no such thing as perfection.
Life is busy but taking time to connect with each other is important. You could cook a healthy family meal, go on a bike ride or for a walk together, this will help you spend quality time together.
Tips for Teachers
Hold a class discussion about being healthy and what it means. Come up with ideas for both the mind and body and encourage children to do so.
Hop on board and challenge yourself to help improve your own health. Walk instead of drive to work or join a fitness class, to name a few suggestions. You could even get your colleagues to try too! If you struggle, let the children know so they can appreciate that sometimes it is difficult, but you must keep trying.
Remind you pupils that there is no such thing as perfect and everyone’s minds and bodies are different.
Remember all this information and more is on the Children’s Mental Health week website. I wanted to help spread the message so that every child has the support and advice that they need to live a happy life.