What is ‘wellbeing’?
When we talk about our wellbeing, or our mental wellbeing, we are meaning our mind – how we are feeling and how well we can manage day-to-day life, such as making and maintaining friendships and carrying out different tasks.
It’s important that we try to keep a positive, happy and healthy mind. If we have poor mental wellbeing, it usually means we are struggling with our mental health and may experience things such as:
- Low mood and depression
- Sleep problems
Lots of people struggle from time-to-time; you’re not the only one feeling this way, it’s totally normal and there are many things which can affect your wellbeing.
What can cause poor wellbeing?
Some things that might contribute to poor mental wellbeing include:
- Not getting enough sleep
- Being bullied
- Problems with family or friends, such as arguments or feeling left out
- Struggling with school work
- Exam stress
- Peer pressure
- Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem
- Not getting enough exercise
- Not eating a balanced and healthy diet
What can I do to improve my wellbeing?
There are lots of things that you can do to improve your wellbeing; it’s really important that you take time to look after yourself and do the things that you enjoy. Below are some things you might find helpful:
This releases hormones called ‘endorphins’ which are also known as the ‘feel-good factor’. Try to do a little bit of exercise every day, like walking the dog, walking to school, or a gentle jog.
Improving your sleep
Try to go to bed at a sensible time to ensure that you get enough sleep, and avoid using electronic devices such as a phone or tablet before you go to bed as the light from the screen can cause poor sleep.
There are lots of different types of breathing exercises – you can try to find one that suits you. The idea is that you focus on your breathing to help slow down your thoughts to feel calmer and relaxed.
Resources you may find helpful
Deep breathing exercises from Young Men’s Health.
Creative Mindfulness resources designed to help students relax, recuperate, and refocus in school time, as well as to inspire creativity.
Meditation for Teenagers:
Listen to Lewis using deep breathing to relax:
You’ve no doubt heard people talking about eating a ‘balanced diet’; this is making sure you eat enough fruit and vegetables, meat and fish (or vegetarian or vegan alternatives), as well as drinking plenty of water. Doing this will help you to concentrate, sleep better and generally feel better, but it’s also important to allow yourself a little treat from time to time!
It’s important that you spend time with your friends; doing so can help release the endorphins mentioned above, but it’s also a chance to switch off from anything that’s causing you to feel stressed or anxious, allowing you to have a bit of fun.
Whether it’s to a friend, a parent/carer, a teacher, or anyone you trust, you should always talk to people if you’re worried about something or if you’re not feeling great. Talking about your problems, even if they don’t get resolved there and then, can make you feel so much better and feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. The person you talk to may also be able to help you sort out any problems or worries you have.
How you feel about yourself and how you manage day-to-day tasks will change all of the time – we all have good days and bad days, and it’s completely normal to feel this way. If you’re feeling a bit low or anxious, think about what’s going on in your life at the time; if there’s something stressful happening, such as changing schools or exams coming up, that could explain why you’re feeling a little differently.
If you find that you’re having more bad days than good days, or if you’re feeling more stressed or low in mood than usual and it’s worrying you, it’s always a good idea to talk to someone and share how you’re feeling.
Real Life Experience
If you’d like to share your real life experience, email [email protected] to find out more.