Not sure what #MakeTimeTo is? Find out more.
You’ve seen the campaign and you’re interested, so what next? There are lots of different ways you can get involved, check them out below or skip to the information you’re most interested in:
- Look After Your Mental Health and Wellbeing
- How Can You Make Time for Your Mental Health and Wellbeing?
First things first. Get involved by looking after your mental health and wellbeing! #AyeFeel has lots of different activities and coping strategies that you can use to look after your mental health. When it comes to looking after yourself, remember:
- Only try something that you’re comfortable with. If you’re not comfortable trying something, it will likely have the opposite effect.
- Give yourself time and don’t put pressure on yourself, go at your own pace and figure out what works for you. Just because something works for someone else, it doesn’t mean it will work for you, so remember not to compare yourself with others.
- If something doesn’t work the first time, try it a few more times to see if it has a positive impact. If it doesn’t, try a new activity (remember, as we said above, everyone is different and so what works for one person won’t necessarily work for you)
- Take small steps rather than trying to make big lifestyle changes. Try choosing one or two things that feel achievable before working towards a bigger goal.
So what kind of activities can have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing? Take a look at some different activities below.
Spend Time With Nature
Taking some time to get outside in the fresh air or bring some outside in, can have a really positive impact on both your mental and physical health. Spending time outside could be simply sitting outside, going for a walk, growing flowers or food, exercising outside or watching the stars. There are lots of options!
If you don’t feel up to going outside, that’s fine (remember, only try things you feel comfortable doing) you can still get some of the benefits of nature by bringing the outside in. That might be buying some plants for your home, opening the window and sitting next to it, listening to some outside soundscapes (for example, forest or rain sounds) or putting some pictures of your favourite natural places on the wall.
Take a look at these videos by the Mental Health Foundation about nature and mental health or visit their website for tips, podcasts, stories and a downloadable nature journal!
Find a Hobby or Get Creative
Having a hobby away from your day to day routine is good for your mental health, as you’re spending time doing something that you enjoy. Hobbies could be anything from a sport like playing football, netball or swimming, to gaming or crafting activities like crocheting, knitting or painting.
Being creative can also help you to feel less stressed and gives you the opportunity to express yourself. This could be drawing, painting, acting, singing or playing an instrument.
Take a look at the Teapot Trust’s art therapy at home toolbox for some ideas on how to get creative.
Learn Something New
Learning a new skill or activity helps to improve your self-esteem, your confidence and give you a sense of achievement. Taking part in something new can also be a great way to meet new people. All of these things can be good for your mental health. You could try signing up for a new class, following some YouTube tutorials to learn a new skill or rediscover an old one, or signing up for a new challenge, like a step-count challenge, couch to 5k or a language challenge like Duolingo.
Check out our Gaelic page, if you’re interested in learning Scottish Gaelic!
Friends and Family
Friends and family can play an important role in your mental health. Speaking or being with people you trust can help you to feel grounded, manage problems you might be facing and put things into perspective. Making time to spend with friends and family is important; it might not always be in person, it could be chatting to someone over a video call, texting them or playing a game together virtually.
Speaking to other people about how you feel is important and remember that it’s OK to ask for help. Speaking to someone you trust is important; take a look at our article on how to speak to someone about your mental health if you’re not sure how to get started.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people you know or don’t feel like you have someone you can trust, there are lots of organisations that you can speak to via email, phone, text or online chat.
Being mindful means being more aware of the present moment, including how you feel and think, your body and the world around you. Visit our mindfulness page to access seventeen different mindfulness activities for free, including yoga sessions, breathing exercises and face massage.
Coping strategies are exercises or techniques that you can use in a situation where you may feel anxious or stressed. Tammy, a mental health therapist, has shared a range of techniques to support your mental health and emotional wellbeing. If you are managing anxiety, feeling stressed or just need to focus, take a look at the page to try four different techniques that can support you.
Ever wondered why people tell you to breathe when you’re feeling stressed? Well, learning to breathe more deeply can help you to feel calmer. This is because it increases the supply of oxygen to your brain. Take a look at our article on relaxation exercises or our video with Steph who shares some breathing activities.
Other Activities and Resources
There are lots of different things you can do to support your mental health and wellbeing. Take a look at some of these other resources too:
- Less stress in 60 seconds with SAMH
- SAMH’s Wellbeing Assessment Tool
- Feels FM by See Me which will help you create a playlist for your mood
- Childline’s Calm Zone has tools, activities and exercises to help you feel calm
Making time to look after yourself is important for your mental health and wellbeing. Taking the time away from your normal routine, feelings or thoughts, even for just a few minutes, can have a positive impact. Taking the time to look after yourself helps you switch off and unwind each day, gives you time to process what’s happened, have time to do the things you enjoy and calm your thoughts.
If you feel like you don’t have time to take a break, that’s probably a sign that you really should.
You might be thinking that’s all very well, but how do you fit it in when you have a busy schedule already? Here are some ways you can #MakeTimeTo prioritise your mental health:
- Try and make time for the things you enjoy on a regular basis, whether it’s always going for a walk on your lunch break or regularly taking part in an activity after school, volunteering or work once a week.
- Leave time in between activities to help you have a break and gather your thoughts before moving on to something else. Even stopping to make a cup of tea or get a snack, can give you a break from what you’re doing.
- Use a diary, journal or reminders on your phone to make sure you make time each day to look after your mental health, even it’s just for five minutes.
- Download our #MakeTimeTo diary template to make a plan for how you will make sure you make time for your mental health.
- Prioritise what is important in your day and make sure one of those priorities is your mental health. Think about if you really need to do that thing that you’ve planned today or whether you could take that time to do an activity that will support your mental health and wellbeing instead? Remember making time for your mental health isn’t selfish.
When you’re thinking about making time, make sure you are realistic. Putting unrealistic goals or pressure on yourself won’t help.
Once you’ve made a plan, try and stick to it if you can. If for any reason you can’t, be kind to yourself, try and commit to doing it tomorrow instead and don’t dwell on today.
Try our quick quiz to get you thinking about mental health and the importance of making time to prioritise yours. You can use this as an activity at your youth club, at school, in a tea or lunch break at work or as a starting point for discussion with friends and family.
1. Everyone has mental health
2. How many young people in Scotland say they have struggled with their mental health?
3. A recent study found that 81% of people said being more active positively impacted their mental health
4. Research by Young Scot’s Youth Loneliness Panel found how many young people advised they had experienced loneliness or felt isolated?
5. What amount of people stated they were coping very or quite badly with their mental health during the initial months of the pandemic?
6. Building a healthy routine can help support good mental health and emotional wellbeing
7. How many hours of sleep typically does a 14 ? 17 year old need per night?
- Between 9 and 11 hours
- Between 8 and 10 hours
- Between 7 and 9 hours
8. What percentage of young people said feelings about climate change negatively affects their daily lives?
- True ? Find out how you can look after your mental health at #AyeFeel.
- C – Find out more in research by See Me Scotland
- True – Find out more about the Feel Your Personal Best Campaign
- B ? Find out more about tackling youth loneliness
- B – Find out more on SAMH’s website
- True – Find out more in Childline’s guide on Taking Care of Yourself
- B ? Find out more in our article with Sleep Scotland
- C ? Find out more in our article about eco-anxiety.