Young people experience a high burden of mental health conditions. Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are among the leading causes of ill-health and disability in this age group.
Despite recent advances, there is a need for increased funding and research to address youth mental health. This includes designing prevention and early intervention services that can be implemented in schools.
1. Know Yourself
When you know yourself better, you are more likely to make healthy decisions and live a happier life. Self-awareness involves understanding your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations so that you can take steps to change and grow.
A key step in knowing yourself is figuring out your core values. These are the things you value most in yourself and others, such as honesty or kindness.
If you need help learning about your values, a therapist is a good place to start. Ask your doctor for a referral or use an online therapist directory to find one near you.
Another way to learn about yourself is to spend time alone. This could mean taking a long walk outside, without your shoes on, and noticing what you see and feel.
2. Talk to Someone
One of the best ways to help someone with a mental health challenge is to have a conversation. This starts with letting them know that you care and are willing to listen.
Teenagers are going through a lot of changes and challenges at once, which can lead to some challenges with their mental health. They may need a friend or trusted adult figure to talk to about these issues.
When they have this relationship, it’s easier for them to share their emotions and feelings with you. It’s also important to stay calm and non-reactive during these conversations.
3. Take Care of Your Physical Health
Physical health is a vital part of youth wellness. When you’re in good shape, you’ll have more energy to tackle your challenges and be better able to handle stress.
Taking care of your physical well-being is also an excellent way to boost your mental health. It might be as simple as eating right or getting some exercise.
A healthy body is the most valuable asset you can have. Treating it with the best care will pay dividends in terms of your health, happiness, and even productivity.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. It improves your memory, helps you deal with stress and strengthens your immune system.
It can also help you keep up with your daily activities and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
You should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation in the US.
Experts believe that each person’s sleep needs vary, so it’s best to check with your doctor. The key is to create a routine that you stick to, so your body and mind know when it’s time to sleep and wake up.
Exercise is important for your physical health and well-being, but it can also help improve your mental health. Research shows that low or moderate-intensity exercises can significantly increase your mood, as well as your energy levels and self-esteem.
In addition, exercise can boost your sense of self-efficacy and social skills, reduce your stress and anxiety, promote sleep and routine, and enhance your confidence.
Studies show that teens who engage in physical activity regularly have better mental health and less depression than those who do not. It is recommended that adolescents accumulate at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day, and that they get more if they have risk factors for depression or other mental health conditions.