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.
‘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 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:
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?
It is important that you are able to assess the progress of your goals to see if any of your work needs improvement.
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?
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?
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”).
Seek mental health support from your GP if you feel like you are becoming. increasingly depressed or anxious over time.
If you feel that you would like to talk to someone or read about ways to help yourself manage how you feel, there are a number of resources here that could help you.
Get Self Help
Get Self Help provides resources and information on how to support yourself for all ageshttps://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/
YoungMinds provides resources and information on how to support yourself , focussing on under 18s and has a helpline for parents/carers (08088 025 544).https://www.youngminds.org.uk/
Mood Spark is a website aimed at 10 to 16 year olds, focussing on getting through COVID-19.https://moodspark.org.uk/
NHS Self Help
NHS Self Help provides access to tips, guides, tools and activities to support and improve mental health.https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/
We Are With You
We Are With You provides access to free confidential support with alcohol, drugs or mental health.https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/
Together All provides an anonymous online support community available 24 hours a day.https://togetherall.com/en-gb/