Mental health describes the way we think and feel. It can also be called ‘emotional wellbeing’. How we feel about ourselves and the world around us can change depending on what’s going on at the time in the same way our physical health changes. Just because someone has experienced a mental health problem at some stage in their life, it doesn’t mean they will always feel like this.
At times problems can develop when someone experiences something upsetting, like bullying or a stressful family life. Sometimes problems appear out of the blue. It’s not the person’s fault.
We all feel stressed out at times, especially when we feel like we’re under pressure and things are getting on top of us. Having a lot of stress for a long time can become difficult to manage and lead to us feeling very anxious.
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.
Scientists have discovered that exercise makes you feel good. It can be anything from football, skating or running to yoga and trampolining – whatever you enjoy!
Talk to others
Talk to other people about things that are bothering you and how you are feeling. Children have told us that, although it can be difficult at first, talking with a good friend, family member or a grown-up you trust can really help.
Take time to chill out and relax
People find different things help them relax – it could be having a bath, watching a funny film, drawing, reading or going for a walk. Try different things and see what works for you.
Get plenty of sleep
Try to go to bed at a similar time each night and get up at a similar time each morning. Avoid using computers or playing on things like iPads before bed – the light they make can keep your brain awake even after you stop playing.
If you are finding it hard to look after your mental health and need some help, talk to a grown-up you trust or call ChildLine on 0800 1111.
The websites below can help too
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service website http://www.camhsandme.org
CBeebies for an interactive game exploring Tamba’s different emotions at http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies
ChildLine have a short video about worries, which can also be called ‘anxiety’, at http://www.childline.org.uk
Beat Bullying have some great tips about staying safe and how to deal with bullying at http://www.beatbullying.org
Make sure you stay safe online – check out the Thinkuknow guide to internet safety at http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk
This information has been provided by the School Health Service and CNWL’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service at http://www.camhsandme.org
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