Self-care 101: Five top tips

Here are some ideas that may help you take care of yourself.

Here's a recap if you'd rather read the advice instead of watching the video:

1. Breathe slowly

This is one of the quickest ways of letting your brain and body know ‘it’s OK'. Take your first finger of one hand and put it near the base of your thumb on your other hand. Trace around the outside of your hand, breathing in as you trace up each finger and breathing out as your trace down the other side. Repeat this as many times as you need to, taking things as slowly as you can.

2. Check your eating habits

When we are stressed our eating habits can change – we often overeat or under eat. If you can, try to get full at mealtimes so you don’t need to top up with sugary snacks. It can also be fun to learn how to make the things you like eating, and to eat with other people.

3. Sleep

Did you know your brain is really active when your body is asleep? For example, lots of the stuff you learn at school gets memorised when you are asleep. So, it’s a good idea to get nine hours of sleep every night if you can. Try to get into a regular bedtime routine and switch screens off in your bedroom. Sleep can help improve how you feel so this is a great way of looking after yourself.

4. Do what you love

What do you enjoy that helps you to feel relaxed? Make a list of these things and do one of them when you feel stressed out. This could include doing your favourite sport, reading, listening to music, crafting or singing.

5. Get moving

If stress has built up in your body, then a great way to take care of it is to ‘shake it off'. Great ways to do this include going for walk or run, kicking a ball, shooting some hoops, dancing, running up and down the stairs or whatever gets you moving.

6. Talk to someone

Find a family member, friend, teacher or sports coach to talk to about how you feel. Always tell a trusted adult if you feel things are getting too much.

Advice from Dr Niki Cooper, Clinical Director, and Julia Clements, Principal Educational Psychologist, at children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

If you need support

You should always tell someone about the things you’re worried about. You can tell a friend, parent, guardian, teacher or another trusted adult. If you're struggling with your mental health, going to your GP can be a good place to start to find help. Your GP can let you know what support is available to you, suggest different types of treatment and offer regular check-ups to see how you’re doing.

If you're in need of in-the-moment support you can contact Shout 85258. It's a free, 24/7 text messenger support service for anyone in the UK. Text the word “SHOUT” to 85258 to start a conversation.

There are more links to helpful organisations on BBC Action Line.

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