Take the Body Positive 30 Day Mental Wellness Challenge
Daily tips to help improve your mental wellbeing
The latest report from the annual UK Youth Index calls 16 to 25-year-olds the unhappiest generation for a decade, revealing that almost two-thirds (61%) regularly feel stressed, more than a quarter (27%) feel “hopeless”, while around half (47%) have experienced a mental health problem.
Even if you don’t have anxiety, depression or a diagnosed mental illness, better sleep and less stress is good for your overall health and well-being.
With this in mind, we've put together a 30 Day Mental Wellness Challenge for anyone who wants to improve their wellbeing, and enlisted Gina Martin to give it a go. Gina is the young writer-turned-activist who led a successful campaign to make upskirt photos illegal after she became a victim to the offence at a music festival.
Gina took on the daily challenges and you can see how she got on on our Instagram. She will definitely give you all the inspo you need to take on the challenge yourself. We also have lots of top tips and advice from Dr Zoe Williams (who you might recognise from ITV's This Morning and BBC's Trust me I'm a Doctor) on how to improve mental wellness.
Don't feel like you need to do a challenge a day as Gina did. You can pick and chose which challenges you want to do, and adapt them to make them work for you.
Week One - Connect
This week, the focus of the challenges is "connect" - and by this we mean actual human interaction. Evidence shows that good relationships – with family, friends and our wider communities – are important for our mental wellbeing. Building stronger, wider social connections can help us feel happier and more secure, and give us a greater sense of purpose. As Dr Zoe says, "We're social animals and we don't thrive when we're lonely and isolated."
- Challenge one - Go on a friend date
- Challenge two - Speak to someone new
- Challenge three - Have lunch with a colleague
- Challenge four - Make time for family
- Challenge five - Go to a local meet-up
- Challenge six - Call mum or dad
Week Two - Be Active
Being active is great for your physical health and fitness, and evidence shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing.We think that the mind and body are separate. But what you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing.
- Challenge seven - Walk a new route to work
- Challenge eight - Go to the park
- Challenge nine - Try a new physical activity
- Challenge ten - Go cycling
- Challenge eleven - Make it a walking meeting
- Challenge nine - Take a dance class
Week Three - Keep Learning
Learning new skills can be useful, but research shows it can also improve our mental wellbeing. It doesn't have to mean getting more qualifications. There are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life.
- Challenge thirteen - Revisit an old hobby
- Challenge fourteen - Fix something that is broken
- Challenge fifteen - Go to a gallery
- Challenge sixteen - Take a class
- Challenge seventeen - Go to the library
- Challenge eighteen - Cook something new
Week Four - Give to Others
Most people would agree that giving to others is a good thing. But it can also do a lot of good for your own mental wellbeing. Small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community, can give you a sense of purpose.
- Challenge nineteen - Compliment a stranger
- Challenge twenty - Help a friend with a project
- Challenge twenty one - Share your knowledge
- Challenge twenty two - Do something nice for someone you like
- Challenge twenty three - Make someone laugh
- Challenge twenty four - Volunteer in your local community
Week Five - Be Mindful
It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.
- Challenge twenty-five - Learn a relaxation technique
- Challenge twenty-six - Go to yoga
- Challenge twenty-seven - Try mindful breathing
- Challenge twenty-eight - Try mindful eating
- Challenge twenty nine - Try a meditation app
- Challenge thirty - Start a journal
Check out what Gina thought of the challenge, and why not get involved and see if the 30 day Mental Wellness Challenge can help you :)
If you’ve been affected by a mental health issue, help and support is available via the BBC Action Line