We asked our Youth Ambassadors what commitments they were making to look after their mental health in celebration of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
Ella – For me it is about finding the mental health strategies that work for you. The strategies that you can use when you feel stressed etc. My favourite one is meditation or prayer. But there are also simple things like candles and aromatherapy oils in a diffusers that you can use often before you become very stressed etc to calm you. Making sure you have time for self care and rest is important too. (time to switch your brain off from the world).
Asma – I make sure to go for a walk everyday, it helps me a lot to relax and forget all the things I had to deal with all day.
Daniela – I am still trying to understand what would make me feel better mentally. I think that so far the best thing that works for me is getting myself outdoors and going for walks. I am someone who likes to travel so I think that’s why I enjoy going to different places or just for short walks. Walking really does do wonders! I think that nature for us is really important and one of the things that can make us feel really calm. Getting away from the busy city can be really refreshing.
Plus, I love some alone time, being just with myself and working with myself. Interacting with people can be really exhausting. There are also other things like listening to music and watching content from my favourite celebrities as they make me laugh. I think it could also be really helpful to have a mentor like a friend or family member you can turn to, or even practising religion and having someone you go for guidance to (this is something I have been focusing on more lately).
Amelia – In order to look after my mental health I always take time to do something that I enjoy, preferably away from technology. My escape is reading.I adore losing myself in a book and enjoy not squinting at a screen. My friends and family always joke that I’m 20 going on 80! When so much of my life does revolve around being on a screen; I use an iPad and laptop at work as well as using a phone, I find that too much screen time results in headaches and strained eyes. So pulling myself away from technology for at least an hour before bed is a form of ritual that I like to stick to.
I also try to spend at least an hour in fresh air. I mostly get this from walking my beautiful dog, spending time at my family allotment or by talking to family and friends in the garden. Fresh air is so important to clear my mind and body of negative energy. I find surrounding myself with those who have a positive impact in my life is crucial for maintaining a positive mind set. #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
Some top tips from the team at Youth Employment UK
Alesha (Youth Engagement & Youth Ambassador Coordinator) – Since the pandemic started, looking after my mental health became a high priority, especially in the winter months as the days were short, dark and cold. I joined my mom’s walking group visiting National Parks every Sunday and aiming to complete 10 mile walks (not always successful unless we got lost and then it was too successful). It started as an excuse to “get out of the house”, but it became much more than that. I began making a conscious effort to leave my phone in the car and be really present. I’d consciously take deep breaths of fresh air that living in the city doesn’t afford me. It was refreshing and peaceful. I also made friends, who I would never have met otherwise – they were interesting, full of love and care and made me laugh till my sides split as well as being able to spend quality time with my mom.
Ian (Business Development and Account Manager) – As someone who has suffered from poor mental health previously, my best strategy is to recognise when I need to ask for help and that it is okay to do so. I am stubborn and carried around my issues for a period, but when I sought out help there was a whole load of people and resources to help me. It’s okay sometimes to not be okay, but if you feel like that for a long time, it’s time to look for someone to help you.
Lauren (Operations Director) – My dog is my mental health secret weapon, knowing she needs to get out and run means that every day without fail I have to get out with her. My top tip would be to make sure you take the time to enjoy nature. When you are out walking try to make at least ten minutes completely away from your phone, no music, no podcasts, calling friends or scrolling social media
LJ (Ceo and Founder) – To keep on top of my mental health I know I need to find time to just quiet my brain and let it rest, I get to do this by taking the dogs out for a walk every morning before work, I try to be really present on the walk too. A couple of times a week I also go for a swim which I find really helps me switch off. I know talking to my husband, friends and family helps, especially if I am struggling to solve a problem, just sharing it often helps me come up with the solutions and takes some pressure off. Doing fun social things has been a challenge for all of us, so I am really glad that we can go back to watching sports, my son plays rugby and I love being on the sidelines cheering the team on.
Susan (Office Manager) My top tip for mental health week is to set out time in the evening to be “screen free” I try to ensure that at least the 2 hours before I go to bed I am not looking at my phone, computer or Ipad and I find this helps me sleep a lot better! During the weekends I ensure that my whole family spends time together baking, swimming (when possible) or playing board games. I find this helps me be more present and helps me really hear what my children are thinking about.