Relaxed Young Woman Leaning Back on Chair

There is a lot of pressure on young people when it comes to choosing what you want to do when you have turned 16. This has no doubt been increased for many with all the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Your mental health and wellbeing are very important and being able to recognise when you or someone needs help is essential. Knowing where to find support can make all the difference in giving you the best chance to overcome these barriers.

Mental Health

‘In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.’ (Mind)

One in four people are affected by mental health problems, ranging from depression and anxiety to rarer ones such as schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder. For some, medication is required to help them manage their mental health, whereas others counselling, and general support is enough.

Examples of looking after your mental health:

  • Be aware of any changes to your emotions and how you are feeling, whether you are able to cope. 
  • Asking for help if you think you need it.
  • When offered support or treatment from professionals, make sure you give it a chance to see if it works for you.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing is ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’ (oxford dictionary) and it is dependent on how you take care of yourself on a day-to-day basis. It is not just about the mental or emotional side, but also your physical health too. It has been proven that looking after your wellbeing can have a positive effect on your mental health.

Ways to care of your mental health:

  • Take care of important everyday things like good hygiene, a healthy well-balanced diet and plenty of sleep/rest. 
  • Stay connected with those that matter to you, such as family and friends.
  • Exercise and taking part in sports on a regular basis can improve your mood and contribute to a healthy routine.
  • Maintaining and finding new hobbies/interests, such as art, music, reading, sports etc…
  • Treating yourself and taking a break.

Mental Health and Job Hunting

We understand that job hunting can sometimes have a negative effect on your mental health and wellbeing. Spending lots of time on applications and facing rejection requires emotional resilience and this is a skill that develops over time. Take comfort in knowing that many people feel like this when they are starting out on their career journey and there are lots of places you can find support.

Ways to boost your wellbeing while job hunting:

Apply for opportunities that can help you in the short or long term, and know the difference.

Set yourself achievable tasks with SMART goals:

Specific 

This makes sure that your goals are clear and focused. 

What are you looking to achieve? Why is it important to reach this goal? Who else is involved? What resources will you need? Are there any limitations to your goal?

Measurable 

It is important that you are able to assess the progress of your goals to see if any of your work needs improvement.

Achievable 

The perfect goal is one that challenges you but is realistically.

What do I need to do to achieve this goal? How realistic is my goal?

Relevant

How important is the goal to you and your overall success?

Is it worth it? Is this the right time to carry out my goal? Am i equipped to reach the goal?

Timely

Set a deadline for when you want to complete your goal to avoid other distractions. Mini deadlines will also help this seem less daunting.

What can I do today? What can I achieve by next month? What can I achieve in six months?

Asking for help or advice from friends or family is important when job searching. Older family members may have already gone through the process and friends may be experiencing the same issues as you.

The importance of regular breaks from work or job searching cannot be understated. This will allow you time to clear your mind, reflect on the work you have been doing and give you more energy to continue your search.

Try to replace negative thinking (“I messed up that interview”) with positive thinking (“I learned a lot from that interview”).

Research ways to de-stress before job interviews that work for you.

Seek mental health support from your GP if you feel like you are becoming. increasingly depressed or anxious over time.