#ExpressYourself: Coping with Stress

For the next week, Healthwatch Essex will be supporting Children’s Mental Health Week with our Young Mental Health Ambassadors (YMHA). We are working with Place2Be to spread #ExpressYourself messaging by having our YMHA take over our online platforms. They will be sharing things they feel are important when it comes to mental health and what helps them through. One ambassador, Tom*, shared his top three tips when dealing with stress.

Music – It’s a great way to escape from the stresses of everyday life. It allows us to switch off from worries about school, home life and friends; it enables us to forget all about stress and just focus on something else. Sometimes a great idea when things really get too much is to switch from your usual genre of music to something else, something new. This applies to all stimulus of similar sorts such as books, poetry, podcasts but try to avoid anything to heavy, by this I mean subjects which may provoke negative emotions.

Nature – I think this is such a good way to relieve stress as being out is always better than being stuck indoors; it allows us to breath better. Also, at home we can feel stuffy and bothered when we are stressed or worrying, so sometimes being outside can allow us to feel better and more positive. My aim when going out to relieve stress is just to be able to focus on my surroundings and get away from my phone, which we all spend too much time on. I treat it as a sort of reset, to be able to clear my head and sometimes leave a hectic household. While out it’s important to focus on your breathing – there’s lots of ways to improve our mental health through breathing – there’s more about this here.

Talking – I think this is really the most important for me. When you may be feeling stressed, anxious, down or scared… just talk. This could be to anyone such as family, friends, teachers or even someone you may not directly know, such as a charity like Samaritans. This is so beneficial as stress in our mind which we don’t talk about can build. By sharing your problems you may not be any closer to a solution, or it may not even have a solution, but by talking it removes stress from our shoulders and gives us someone to share our feelings with. I find talking also allows us to not focus on the matter at hand so much but build bonds between ourselves and others.”

If you need more advice on mental health services for young people or children you can contact our Information & Signposting team at info@healthwatchessex.org.uk. Join the conversation on social media with #ExpressYourself.

*Names have been changed.