Health & Wellbeing
The World Health Organisation recognises that health is made up of physical, mental and social health and these factors are all connected. If one area of our health isn’t good this will affect the other areas.
For example, when you are feeling anxious: Physically, you may experience more aches and pains, changes to your appetite or your heart may beat faster. Emotionally, you may notice changes to mood, for example you may feel sad and tearful and experience increased feelings of panic, or feel overwhelmed. Socially, you may not want to go out, interact or socialise with others and this in turn can make you feel lonely and disconnected from others.
At times we can all struggle with life’s ups and downs. Our thoughts have a big impact on how we feel and the way we behave. Everyone experiences feelings and emotions such as anxiety, fear, sadness or anger. As time passes things change and how you feel will change. A feeling in this moment is not forever and there is always hope for things to be different. If your situation becomes more difficult or unmanageable please contact your GP in the first instance.
The Young Person’s Mental Health Guide includes lots of ideas to support you and the positive ways to manage your thoughts and emotions.
When we consider health and wellbeing from a digital point of view, we want to focus on using technology in a way that is beneficial to both our mental and physical health. However, sometimes we can be affected by how others treat us online. This is when online problems like cyberbullying and trolling can become a roadblock to a healthy online experience.
To help you know how to create boundaries and keep your own wellbeing a priority, you could create a list of positive digital habits to practice.
Habits for creating a healthier online experience
Limit screen time.
Work on creating specific screen downtimes throughout your day. Many apps and devices allow you to set these up to help prompt you to take a break.
Check on your privacy.
Carefully consider what information is available to others in your posts, who is in your follower list, and what restrictions you have in place.
Use blocking and reporting features.
Make sure you know how to access and use the blocking and reporting features in your online spaces if someone or someone is making you feel unhappy, unsafe or uncomfortable.
Think about who you follow.
There may be accounts you follow that potentially encourage unhealthy or triggering behaviour for you. If this happens then it may be time to unfollow them. You could also mute accounts if you don’t want to unfollow them completely.
Take a break and be active.
It’s healthy to take regular breaks from devices. Getting enough natural daylight and physical activity causes chemical changes in the brain which can make you feel good. Do an activity that you enjoy – bake a cake, go for a run or dance!
Eat well, keep well.
Be mindful of the food and drink you consume because it affects your mood, energy levels and quality of sleep.
Sleeping is directly linked to your overall health and wellbeing. Blue light from devices can disrupt sleep, so switch off your phones/screens at least one hour before bedtime. Unwind and take time to relax. Keep your bedroom phone/gadget free and ensure it is quiet, cool and dark. If you are worried about sleep then ask for help.
Talk to someone and ask for help.
At times we can all struggle with our emotions. Whatever is worrying you, there is always someone that you can talk to. Whether it’s a friend, someone in your family or a person who cares for you, a youth worker, teacher or someone in your school or club. If you want to speak to someone else then reach out for support.