Five ways to improve children's mental health
Everyone knows the importance of a healthy lifestyle for children; eating well, doing enough daily exercise- that kind of thing. But sometimes we forget that a healthy mind is as equally important as eating that broccoli at dinner.
The World Mental Health Organisation claim as many as one in ten children and young people are diagnosed with mental health conditions and many experience lots of challenges during their early years - from bereavement to bullying.
February 4th-10th marks Children's Mental Health Week, so how can we promote a healthy inside as well as the outside?
1. More sleep
Getting children to bed might be one of hardest tasks a parent faces in their day. The daily battles of 'just one more episode' or 'just one more game' can be very tiresome and easy to give in to but according to studies done by Place2Be, children who sleep less are more likely to struggle with worries.
The study of over 1,100 10-11 year-olds and 13-15 year-olds claim that more than half of children worry "all of the time" with at least one aspect of their life.
The NHS state that children should be getting at least nine hours of sleep each night.
We all love putting our headphones on, staring out of a window pretending we're in a sad indie music video and forgetting our troubles but studies show music can actually help improve children's mood.
A study reported in Nature Neuroscience suggested dopamine, a chemical which produces a feel-good state increased when people listened to music they enjoyed.
If a child is struggling to express their emotions or talk about issues they're facing, creating music is a good way to process and communicate those feelings.
Whether it's playing strumming a guitar or penning down lyrics, music can offer a different way for children to open up about their worries.
3. Friend-based activities
Everyone enjoys spending time with friends, whether it's going to play sport or going the cinema. The opportunity to spend time and do activities with friends promotes a healthier mind set. According to the Mental Health Organisation friendship reduces stress, improves self-confidence and boosts happiness.
4. Super Movers
We know being active should be a key part of a child's day. The NHS suggests that physical activities help maintains a good mental wellbeing as it causes chemical changes in our brains, which helps to positively change our mood. So why not try one of Super Movers' Just for Fun videos and get moving out of this world as you help Fruity save the universe.
It's a great way to keep a happy household in the wintry weather.
5. Someone to talk to
Growing up can sometimes be a tough and often confusing time for children, with many feeling like they have no-one to talk to. It's important to get children to open up about their feelings and discuss what's on their mind. It might be as simple as reassuring a child that they are not on their own or it's not their fault for the way they are feeling.
If you feel concerned about a child's mental health, you can ask a GP to assess them, or make contact with a local support organisation for young people such as Young Minds
Super Movers aims to get children moving throughout the day with lots of free, easy-to-use video resources and great football-inspired incentives like a visit from the Premier League Trophy. Brain Booster routines star famous faces and cover key areas of Numeracy and Literacy. They can be used in the classroom or at home to help children feel refreshed and energised whilst learning. The Just for Fun routines help get the whole family active together.
Why not have a go?