Written by: Emily on October 7, 2019Tags: Guest Blogger, Mental Health
Whether it’s a condition like anxiety or depression, school stress and pressure, PMS-related mental health problems or worries about the future, it can be overwhelming being a teenager. There are all sorts of changes and challenges to face, and mental health stuff is hard. You might not know how to react to these emotions and how to make yourself feel better.
That’s why we’ve gathered five things that people who have overcome poor mental health want you to know. Hopefully, these pieces of self-care advice will help you if you need it.
If you’re having a tough time mentally, it can be super hard to talk about it with someone else. You might not think that they will understand, or you might think that what you’re feeling is stupid or weird or embarrassing, but it’s really not.
We’ve found that talking to people – even if it’s difficult to start with – can make everything feel much more manageable and lighten the load. You really don’t have to go through things alone.
It’s up to you who you open up to; it could be someone in your family, like your mum or dad, or a sibling. You can always talk to a friend you trust, or someone in school, like a teacher or school counsellor.
If the idea of bringing up your problems with the people immediately around you freaks you out and you’d feel more comfortable talking to someone you don’t know first, there are lots of other places you can go. Young Minds (a mental health charity for young people) has a confidential helpline you can call or and text service you can message, as well as useful information on how else you can ask for help.
Your mental health is tied to your physical health in more ways than one, and it’s important not to forget that. After all, your brain is in your head, which – unsurprisingly – is attached to the rest of your body.
If you’re dealing with poor mental health like depression or anxiety, you’ll have probably noticed physical symptoms as well as mental ones, such as a racing heart, breathing problems, headaches, and feelings of exhaustion.
So it stands to reason that to get better mentally, you need to put in the work physically too. Your mental health is going to suffer even more if you aren’t getting enough sleep, or eating properly.
Here are some tips:
Whether you’re feeling stressed or low, exercise can really help with your emotional wellbeing. It can even help if you’re experiencing some intense mood swings or PMS, so it’s great to exercise on your period too, whether it’s yoga, hockey or jogging.
This is because exercise releases “happy chemicals” in your body (like serotonin and endorphins) that make you feel less stressed, less anxious and less down. The result is that you feel more positive, relaxed and more in control.
When you’re doing exercise, it tends to take your mind off the pressures you feel, because you’re totally focused on what you’re doing at that moment. Straight after, you’ll feel a buzz and an extra boost of energy. And the long-term result is that your self-esteem will increase and you’ll get loads of good quality sleep (which you also need to tackle poor mental health).
If there’s something that can make you feel better – whether it makes you happier or helps, even just for a little bit – then do it.
Whether it’s hanging out with your friends, listening to music or a great podcast, watching your fave TV programme, getting out in the sun, a sport or something artsy, the stuff you enjoy doing can help out a lot if you’re feeling low.
Everyone is different, so don’t feel pressured to do things just because someone says “it’ll cheer you up”. Find the things that make you feel happy and relaxed, and be sure to schedule in some “you” time to do these things – especially if you’re in the middle of exam season and you’re feeling stressed.
If you’re struggling with poor mental health, it might not seem like it at the time, but things will get better. Mental health issues are really common and really treatable, so you’re not alone, you’re not a weirdo, and you’re not “unfixable”.
There are all sorts of ways you can learn to deal with emotions like stress or feeling down. Part of it is getting to know yourself, understanding mental health, and recognising what you struggle with.
When you figure out these things, you can come up with your own strategies for dealing with your feelings — like making positive changes, eating well, exercising and practising relaxation or mindfulness techniques. This can help you to chill in stressful situations, but can also improve your day-to-day life.
So many people – of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes – can have poor mental health, and you’d be surprised at who does; they might seem perfectly fine and happy from the outside but be having a really tough time on the inside.
These are just five things that people who have overcome poor mental health want you to know; hopefully, if you’re struggling at the moment, this advice can help you to overcome things too.
By Hollie Jones – an expert lifestyle blogger who lives for writing. Hollie’s drive, passion and background come from the arts and media sectors. She’s worked with some of the biggest and most responsible brands in the world, making her ideally positioned to offer lifestyle support and advice. You can read her latest blog posts on Hollie and the Ivy, where she shares tips and advice about her passions while having a lot of fun along the way.Back to listings