Here we share some wellbeing strategies for children and teenagers that we can also adopt ourselves as parents.
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Why is it important to look after our mental wellbeing?
At any age, positive wellbeing enables us to:
- Have more confidence and a healthy belief in ourselves
- Strengthen our self-esteem
- Have positive and more fulfilling relationships with others
- Cope with anxiety and other challenges that we may face
- Adapt to change in a constructive way
This doesn’t mean we will only ever be happy, as life will always give us some challenges, but it enables us to cope with challenges in life in a practical and productive way.
It’s good to talk
Let your children know you are there for them when they want to talk to you about how they are feeling. It may be a big decision for them to open up about their worries and anxieties so ensure you give them the space, time and attention. If you are in the middle of something and you can’t stop what you are doing there and then, let your child know a time later that day when you are able to give them your full attention.
Encourage writing things down
Older children and teenagers may prefer to have a journal or notebook they can write in. Maybe they can set aside some time when they get home from school to write their thoughts down. This should remain private to them unless they choose to discuss it with you.
Encourage your child to reflect on what they would say to a friend who is struggling with something similar, as this provides the opportunity to practise more positive self-talk. Younger children may prefer to draw their feelings in their journal. Encourage them to express themselves however they feel on that day.
Create a worry box
Let them know this feeling will pass
Create a self-soothing box
Practise gratitude together
Meditation and mindfulness
Spend time together in nature
Get creative or learn something new
What we eat can also impact on our wellbeing
Other organisations that can help
Give us a Shout provides support to young people if they are struggling with their mental health 24/7 via a text service.
Visit the NHS website
Visit the Mind website
Better Your Life support teens and adults with anxiety
This article was written by Jennifer Roblin, an anxiety relief therapist and confidence coach at Better Your Life.