Our current touring production Thrive follows 3 young people as they face a pretty challenging experience. This is particularly traumatic for our characters, but we all go through times where we feel down, stressed or angry – it’s part of human nature. Sometimes these feelings can be really over powering, long lasting and stop us getting on with our daily lives. To mark World Mental Health Day, we asked some of our young people and staff what they do to to help them Thrive and stop them feeling down; here's some of their top tips!
1. Let Yourself Feel It
There’s nothing worse than bottling your feelings up. Sometimes, a good shout or cry is very cathartic; a release that enables you to pick yourself up and get through the rest of the day. Don’t be afraid to give yourself some self care; a day in your onesie watching Netflix might just be what you need.
2. Have a Hobby
Whether it’s singing or knitting, writing or beekeeping; having something outside the daily grind to look forward to on evenings / weekends helps you forget about that stressful exam / piece of coursework / friend who’s being a pain. Even better if it gets you outside in the sunshine!
3. Stick To Routines
When they are feeling low, lots of people report loss of appetite or trouble sleeping. Try to be kind to yourself by going to bed at the same time, not skipping meals and trying to avoid recreational drink and drugs. They may provide a temporary relief, but are not a good way to deal with things overall, as you will often feel worse afterwards.
4. Ask For Help
We all have days where we just want to be left alone, but don’t shut yourself away. Whether its' a teacher, a parent or friend, that old cliché of a problem shared is a problem halved really rings true here. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone you know, charities like Young Minds and Samaritans have helplines you can call, or try your school nurse or pastoral team.
It may sound a bit weird and hippy like, but there is lots of evidence in favour of mindfulness and meditation and good mental health. The practice of taking time out for yourself to be totally in the moment and acknowledge any negative feelings is one that even the busiest person can do, and can help with anxiety, panic attacks and exam stress. We particularly like Headspace for Android and iOS, it has great meditation sequences and you can try it out for 10 days for free!
6. Be Grateful For The Small Things
Yes, life isn’t always going to be rosy, but there are lots of good things that we can sometimes take for granted. Don’t forget to count your blessings, however small and the people and things that enrich your life. Try keeping a gratitude journal or scrapbook that will make you smile when things get onto of you.