Here you will find tips and ideas for looking after your mental health and wellbeing.
Wellbeing and Additional Support
Children, young people and their families can get free help, advice and urgent mental health support from 24/7 crisis telephone lines available in every London borough.
Every NHS mental health trust in London has put these in place, so children, young people and their families can get help quickly when they need it. Professionals are also able to access these crisis lines if they are concerned about or would like advice about a child, young person or family. The crisis lines are supported by trained mental health practitioners, who can offer advice and signpost other sources of support as needed.
Please find here a brief information pack with details of these crisis lines as well as other support available (e.g. Shout, Good Thinking and Kooth).
Many children find drawing and painting a good way to relax and feel positive. Here are some useful resources and ideas:
- Growth Project: exploring personal growth through art
- Calm Project: exploring how to feel calm through art
- Colour Project: exploring colour as a way to think and talk about how you are feeling
- Mindful colouring: just taking the time to colour can be really relaxing for children
- It might really help you to stick to a schedule each day. You could make a schedule like this one. (But don't do it if it makes you feel more stressed!)
Here are some ideas for things you can do to help manage anxiety for you and your family.
- Do a mood check-in first thing in the morning and then later in the afternoon. Use our mood thermometer to help - and remember that all feelings are ok!)
- Set up a container (for example a shoe box or a bowl) as a ‘worry box’ or ‘bubble box’. Children can leave messages in here for parents to read later, if they aren’t ready to talk yet.
- For each worry that you talk about, encourage each other to think of two positive things.
ChildLine is a free service for children and young people - available whenever they need support or advice. If you have any worries at home, tell an adult that you trust, or you can contact ChildLine. Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111 or get in touch online.
Watching these videos is a great starting point for discussions around mental health:
Being active can really help to lift your spirits.
- Try this beginners work out for kids, from Joe Wicks
- Set a regular alarm to remind you to move
- Set yourself a challenge (such as how many star jumps or sit ups can you do in one minute?)
- Try this simple yoga for kids to do at home, with visual prompts
- Sign up for a GoNoodle account for free, for movement break ideas
- Sleep well: It is also important to get good quality sleep. There are lots of free soothing mediation or sound videos or find a podcast which is funny. Write your thoughts on a note pad or a to do list then put it out of sight until the morning. Try deep breathing for at least 3 minutes, slowly through your nose and out from your mouth.
- Eat well: Eating high levels of fruit and vegetables has been found to improve wellbeing. Plan ahead and try and limit the 'unhealthy' snacks to treat times.
Try this introduction to mindfulness
Deep breaths can really help. Use this hand guide (or your own hand) to follow five deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Create a comfortable area where you can lie down. Once you are lying flat, place your favourite teddy or toy on your tummy. As you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, notice the weight of the teddy moving with your breath.