Top Tips to Improve Your Well-Being
Mental Health and Well-Being
Alarmingly, 75% of children and young people who experience mental health problems aren’t getting the help they need.
Children’s emotional well-being is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health helps them develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:
- being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
- having time and freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
- being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
- going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
- taking part in local activities
Other factors are also important, including feeling loved, trusted, understood and safe. Children who are optimistic, and resilient, have some control over their lives and feel like they belong are more likely to have good mental well-being.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago.
Certain risk factors can make some children and young people more likely to experience mental health problems than others. However, experiencing them doesn’t mean a child will definitely – or even probably – go on to have mental health problems.
These factors include:
- having a long-term physical illness
- a parent who has had mental health problems, problems with alcohol or has been in trouble with the law
- the death of someone close to them
- parents who separate or divorce
- experiencing severe bullying or physical or sexual abuse
- poverty or homelessness
- experiencing discrimination
- caring for a relative, taking on adult responsibilities
- having long-lasting difficulties at school
If you are concerned about you or your child, please speak to Mrs Westrop.
It’s important that trusted adults feel able to help children and young people cope with grief –particularly at the moment.
Children are seeing bereavement and sadness being featured heavily the national news and in their favourite online spaces, and hearing it being talked about extensively among families and in the community. How can we help them in processing grief healthily at this potentially upsetting time?
Further information can be found on our website
Zones of Regulation
There are four self-regulation zones and in each one, there are various strategies that pupils can use to help them recognise and control their emotions; manage their impulses and sensory needs and develop skills, such as problem solving, when faced with challenges or conflicts.
For each self-regulation zone, there are a variety of visual and social development activities that can help pupils to identify their own feelings, recognise their level of alertness and control their behaviour.
This essentially provides children with a toolkit that allows them to independently regulate their own emotions and behaviour, as well as develop skills such as identifying the impact of their behaviour on those around them.
Self-Regulation Zone 1 - The Blue Zone
• Pupils can be described as having a low state of alertness.
• Pupils often feel sad, tired, bored and have low concentration levels.
• Pupils may be feeling ill so check with them or their parents/carers.
Self-Regulation Zone 2 - The Green Zone
• Pupils can be described as having a calm state of alertness.
• Pupils often feel happy, content in their environment, focused and able to concentrate on tasks.
• Pupils in this zone are often ready to learn and this is usually where optimal learning takes place.
Self-Regulation Zone 3 - The Yellow Zone
• Pupils can be described as having a heightened state of alertness.
• Pupils might demonstrate higher levels of emotions but are usually still in control of them.
• Pupils often feel stressed, frustrated and anxious.
• Pupils may also feel nervous for a particular reason, or over-excited.
Self-Regulation Zone 4 - The Red Zone
• Pupils can be described as having an extremely heightened state of alertness or as being out of control.
• Pupils might demonstrate intense emotions and are usually not in control of them.
• Pupils often feel anger or rage in this zone and demonstrate this in different ways.
• Pupils may also be affected by devastation or a high state of elation.
• If pupils are in this zone, give them space in a quiet area or opportunity to leave the classroom and go for a walk. Ensure they have a trusted member of staff who they can talk to if needed.
For further information go to https://www.zonesofregulation.com/index.html or speak to Mrs Westrop for more information.
Supporting Your Nerodiverse Child
Christmas can be a tricky time for neurodiverse children or children with SEND. This could be the case if your child has autism, ADHD or a sensory processing disorder. Or if your child experiences anxiety or anxious feelings.
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS COPE OVER CHRISTMAS OR OTHER CELEBRATIONS?
They may find it hard to adjust to different light, colour, sound, smells, textures and tastes. It might be that their senses become overwhelmed. Changes in routine can also affect how they feel. Planning in advance can help you all adapt and enjoy the festive period.
Make A List
Make a list of what your child finds difficult. This could be anything from big crowds, loud noises, surprises or bright lights. Try to think about when they might experience those. How could you avoid those situations? If that isn’t an option, consider how you can help your child prepare.
Involve Them In Decisions
Let your child have a say in the Christmas decorations around your home. Ask them to help you choose lights, colours and textures that they feel comfortable with.
Prepare Them For Gifts
Some children with additional needs find surprises overwhelming. You might want to let them know what type of gifts they will open on Christmas Day. For example, you could tell them you will give them a book, and the surprise is which book you choose. It can also help to:
Consider Any Changes In Routine
Try to prepare your child each day for what’s coming tomorrow. Talk to them about who will be there, what they will do and what they’ll eat. Some children might like to have some control over some of these things. You could give them a choice between two or three different activities.
Try to keep some of their routine the same. It can be helpful to start and end their day with something you would usually do. Think about morning routines, as well as bath time, bedtime and story time.
Plan For Visitors
You may also need a plan for the possibility of unexpected visitors. If your child struggles with visits at home or going out, think about how you can help.
If your child needs more support with calming anxious feelings, we have some advice, contact Mrs Westrop.
We know in this time of financial pressure that many of our community may be struggling to provide for their families. Support is available through the Thurrock Food Banks. You can contact them directly if you or a family you know needs support or you can speak to Mrs Westrop who can put you in touch.
Tues 14:00-16:00: St. Mary’s Church hall, St. Mary’s Church, Dock Rd, Grays, RM17 6EX.
Weds 09:30-12:00: Thurrock Christian Fellowship, 2-4 Chase Rd, Corringham, S17 7QH
Weds 13:30-15:00: Sockets Heath Baptist Church, Premier Avenue, Grays, RM16 2SB
Thurs 11:00-13:00: St. Francis Centre, Somerset Rd, Linford, SS17 0QA
Thurs 11:00-13:00: All Saints Church of England, Foyle Drive, Sth Ockendon, RM15 5HF
Fri 10:12:00: St. Stephen’s Church of England, London Rd, Purfleet, RM19 1QD
Sat 09:30-11:30: Emmanuel Church of England, Sleepers Farm Rd, Chadwell St. Mary, RM16 4TP
Sat 10:00-12:00: All Saints Church of England, Foyle Drive, Sth Ockendon, RM15 5HF
Sat 10:00-12:00: Christian Gates of Praise International Christian Centre, 79-83 London Rd, Grays, RM 17 5YF
Feel healthier and happier by joining the FREE Thurrock healthy lifestyles courses for families:
- They get the kids excited about healthy eating
- You have fun getting active as a family
- Interactive online lessons to fit around your busy schedule
Find out more at beezeebodies.com/families
12 Daily Reminders
If winter is making you feel low, here are seven ways you can give yourself a boost…
1. Combat colds by… keeping your hands to yourself
While we’re no closer to curing the common cold, we do know that it’s spread via coughing and sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces. “Viruses can live on surfaces for several hours,”
2. Shake off winter tiredness by… heading outdoors
“While we often feel more tired and sluggish during the winter, and you may feel like you need more sleep, there’s no scientific evidence to prove this is the case,”. Rather than changing your normal routine, try to keep up healthy exercise and diet habits.
3. Boost your mood with… a winter workout routine
Cosying up indoors and ditching the workout plan might feel tempting, but keeping active in winter can work wonders for your mood. According to the NHS, a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues.
5. Stay calm through the festive period by… managing time expectations
If you’re feeling more frazzled than festive in the build up to Christmas, consider a little forward planning so you feel more in control. Try making lists for everything from gift-buying to Christmas baking and prep so you can tick off as you go, and schedule in time for yourself.
Everybody can use a little bit of kindness in their life. Being kind not only has a direct effect on others, but it has a positive impact on yourself as well.
The BBC have developed well-being tips for parents to help you support a healthy, happy child and teen - with advice on food, sleep, mindfulness, as well as ways to look after you and your child's mental health.
We know parenting isn’t always easy. Although it’s often amazing and rewarding to watch your children grow up, and to help them learn to be independent, it can also be really hard work. It can feel especially hard if your child's mood and behaviour seem different and you're not sure why, or what you can do to help. But you are not alone.
We have lots of practical advice and tips on supporting your child - from how to encourage your child to open up about their feelings to dealing with mental health services. No matter what you and your child are going through, things can get better.
We also have our Parents Helpline who can provide advice and support if you're worried about a child or young person.
Does a child you know ever feel lonely when they’re online? In a study by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, 14% of 10–12-year-olds said that they DID often feel lonely – so any child experiencing those feelings is, sadly, far from unusual.
To support Mental Health Awareness Week – which this year has the theme of ‘loneliness’ – we spoke to a group of children and teenagers, who told us some of the things that make them feel isolated when they’re online.
They also suggested some ways they use technology to make themselves feel better when that happens, and we’ve compiled their ideas into a loneliness-busting guide.
Further information can be found on our website
5 Ways to Wellbeing - Give
Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
5 Ways to Well-Being - Keep Learning
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.
The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:
- Find out something about your colleagues
- Sign up for a class
- Read the news or a book
- Set up a book club
- Do a crossword or Sudoku
- Research something you’ve always wondered about
- Learn a new word.
5 Ways to Well-Being - Take Notice
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:
- Get a plant for your workspace
- Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
- Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting
- Take a different route on your journey to or from work
- Visit a new place for lunch.
5 Ways to Well-Being - Be Active
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.
Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.
But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:
- Take the stairs not the lift
- Go for a walk at lunchtime
- Walk into work - perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well
- Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
- Organise a work sporting activity
- Have a kick-about in a local park
- Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning
- Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.
5 Ways to Well-Being - Connect
There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.
It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
- Talk to someone instead of sending an email
- Speak to someone new
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
- Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.