Posted: 10 September 2019

Top tips for looking after your emotional well-being

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and the steps to prevention. 

Our Good Childhood Report found that since 2009, children and young people have become increasingly unhappy, and research by the Samaritans shows that suicide rates among young people under 25 years old went up in the UK in 2018. 

It's increasingly important that we listen to young people and show them they matter. Liz Inchley, an occupational therapy student at Pause in Birmingham, shares her top tips for looking after your own emotional well-being. 

Top tips for looking after your emotional well-being

Just like life, our emotional well-being can have its ups and downs. If you experience low emotional well-being for a long period of time then you may be more likely to develop a mental health problem. 

We all have different ways of coping but there are some factors such as childhood trauma, social disadvantage or caring for a family member or friend, that can make you more vulnerable to low emotional well-being. It's important you are aware of periods of poor mental health and are able to challenge the possible causes. 

Everyone deserves to feel good so here are Liz's top tips for managing and improving your own emotional health and well-being: 

1. Diet and exercise

These are mentioned in almost every lesson or self-help guide about physical and mental well-being, but diet and exercise are very important. Try to make a healthy choice for yourself every day, and the positive effects will add up.

2. Know your limits

Sometimes we can feel stressed or burnt out because we have too many commitments to keep up with. Balancing your responsibilities with time for hobbies and relaxation can be tricky, but it’s totally worth the effort.

3. Be kind

Being able to show compassion towards others is good, but showing compassion to yourself is great. Celebrating your achievements and using positive self-talk works wonders for confidence! Identify some positives at the end of each day and say 'well done, me'.

4. Sensory experience

Using the senses can be very relaxing. If your day gets too busy, take a moment to look around and notice any colours you can see, identify what you can feel by touch, and try to notice any sounds, smells, or tastes. Bonus points if you can smell anything from a bakery!

5. Find your favourites

Most people will use some of their favourite things to help themselves feel better. If you have any favourites (photos, perfumes, toys, sweets, games, music, etc), keep them together in a box or drawer, so all the things that cheer you up are in one place.

So there you have our top five tips for looking after your emotional well-being. If you would like further mental health advice, please visit our resource vault where you'll find information on stress, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and much more. 

If you are concerned about yourself or someone else and you do not think that they can keep themselves safe, you must try to stay calm, stay with them and seek immediate help and advice.

There are national helplines: Childline (0800 1111) Samaritans (116 123) that are open 24/7 for 365 days a year. You can also call 999 or go to A&E at any time.


By Liz Inchley

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