This week is Children’s Mental Health Week (5th -11th February 2018) so we wanted to talk about how to promote good mental health in children.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems affect around 1 in 10 children and young people.
Good mental health allows children and young people to build the resilience to cope with stressful situations and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
So how can we make sure children have good mental health?
Good physical health and regular exercise
Making sure children are in good physical health and get regular exercise are important factors in boosting their mental health. Guidelines from the NHS suggest children over the age of 5 get 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Regular exercise has been proven to increase our mood and decrease stress levels.
There are strong links between eating well and feeling good. Eating a healthy diet can be good for your mental health as well as your physical health. Children should eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet which includes plenty of fruit and vegetables and sugary drinks should be limited.
Mindfulness is about being in the moment and noticing what’s happening now. Encourage children to practice mindfulness by asking them to think about what they can see, hear or feel at a particular time. Our Mindfulness Shuffle cards are perfect for this and have 50 activities to help you explore mindfulness with children.
Make time to play
Playing is a great way of helping children to stay not just physically happy and healthy but it can contribute towards good mental health too. Playing is also important for children as it teaches them to be creative, learn problem-solving skills and learn self-control.
Talk about it
Encouraging children to talk about their feelings leads to better communication and means they are more likely to talk to you if something is worrying them.
If children feel like they are being listened to it will make them feel more supported and less alone. Sometimes children can find it hard to describe how they are feeling and talk about their emotions, we have a range of resources to help facilitate these conversations.
Click here more information on Children’s Mental Health Week.