Emotional Wellbeing

Mental health is about the way we think and feel. It can also be called ‘emotional wellbeing’. How we feel about ourselves and the world around us can change depending on what’s going on at the time in the same way our physical health changes. Just because someone has experienced a mental health problem at some stage in their life, it doesn’t mean they will always have this problem.

Sometimes problems can develop when someone experiences something upsetting; like bullying or a stressful family life. Sometimes problems appear out of the blue. It’s not the person’s fault and it’s nothing for them to be ashamed about.

There are lots of celebrities who have spoken publicly about having mental health problems including Lady Gaga, Stephen Fry, Johnny Depp, David Beckham, Russell Brand and JK Rowling.

There is still a lot of misunderstanding about mental health, with newspapers and television often wrongly portraying people with mental health problems negatively. Fortunately, this type of stigma is being addressed by high profile campaigns such as Time to Change.

We all feel stressed out at times, especially when we feel like we’re under pressure and things are getting on top of us. Having a lot of stress for a long time can become difficult to manage and lead to us feeling very anxious.

Sometimes it seems like we have little or no control over what we think and how we feel. But, there are things that you can do that will help you to feel better.

Resilience is what allows you to cope with life's ups and downs.

Making something worthwhile out of painful times helps your resilience grow such as using your experience to help others.

Making something creative out of bad experiences by, for example, writing, painting or singing, can help you express pain and get through hard times.

Find out how to build your mental resilience

Making healthy choices about your diet can make you feel emotionally stronger. You're doing something positive for yourself, which lifts your self-esteem.

A good diet helps your brain and body work efficiently, too. Aim to have a balanced diet that includes all the main food groups.

Visit our Healthy eating page for more information.

Scientists have discovered that exercise makes you feel good. It can be anything from football, skating or running to yoga and trampolining – whatever you enjoy. Even moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood.

It can help you sleep better, have more energy and keep your heart healthy.

Choose an exercise that you enjoy. If it helps, do it with a friend or listen to music. We should all aim for 150 minutes a week.

Find out how exercise can help with depression

Sleep affects your mind and body more than you might think, so it's super important to do your best to have a healthy sleep pattern.

Writing a "to do" list for the next day before bed can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions.

Try to go to bed at a similar time each night and get up at a similar time each morning. Avoid using computers or playing on things like iPads before bed – the light they make can keep your brain awake even after you stop playing.

Communication is important, whether it's with a friend, family member or counsellor.

Talking things through helps you to release tension, rather than keeping it inside. It helps strengthen your relationships and connect with people.

Sharing what’s bothering you can help to make it feel more manageable. If you feel that the problems you’re having are too big for you to deal with by yourself you may want to get in contact with your GP, someone from school/college or someone else you trust.

Lots of people find talking to a counsellor about things that are troubling them very helpful.

Link Counselling and Information Service for Young People provides counselling by appointment for people aged 13-25 who live, work or study in the London borough of Hillingdon. Give them a call on 01895 277222

If you’re finding it hard to talk to people you know about how you feel, contact ChildLine or The Samaritans

Doing things that you enjoy is good for your emotional wellbeing.

People find different things help them relax, simple activities like watching sports with a friend, having a soak in the bath or meeting up with friends for coffee can all improve your day.

Doing something you're good at, such as cooking or dancing, is a good way to enjoy yourself and have a sense of achievement.

Try to avoid things that seem enjoyable at the time but make you feel worse afterwards, such as drinking too much alcohol or eating junk food.

Regular relaxation is beneficial for your mental health. If you make a regular time each day to practice some of the techniques below you will get better and better at relaxation and notice your day-to-day stress levels are lower. You will also become able to use relaxation at the times you need them most.

See Mind for more relaxation tips and relaxation exercises to try.

When times are hard, it's tempting to drink alcohol because it "numbs" painful feelings.

But it can exaggerate some feelings and make you feel angry or aggressive. It can also make you feel more depressed.

Read more about the effects of alcohol on your health and get simple tips to help you cut down.

If you need help or support there is lots of advice available for your emotional and mental wellbeing. Please check the links below or talk to your teacher, school nurse or GP.

Kooth is an online mental health service covering all boroughs in North West London for children and young people between 11 and 25 years.

Best For You provides personalised mental health services for young people in North West London to make it easier for you to find the support you need.

Link Counselling and Information Service for Young People provides counselling by appointment for people aged 13-25 who live, work or study in the London borough of Hillingdon. Give them a call on 01895 277222

Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) website has further information and advice, resources, signposting or if you need urgent help.

You can get free, confidential advice via phone, email or webchat from the Young Minds Parents Helpline.

Winston’s Wish Charity for bereaved children. Its website also has information for parents and carers.

You can find more information about NHS children and young people's mental health services (CYPMHS) on the NHS website

Do not hesitate to get urgent help if you think either you or your child needs it.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service website.

It has a Cope-ometer to help younger children understand the link between stresses and mental health – but it applies to all of us!

Check out the Thinkuknow guide to internet safety

If you are finding it hard to look after your mental health and need some help, talk to a grown-up you trust or call ChildLine on 0800 1111.