Be Mindful of Your Mental Health
Thinking about skilling and future careers can bring up all sorts of emotions, so it’s important to learn how to handle them.
Planning for the future and searching for opportunities can be hard work. Sometimes you will feel elated and upbeat over small wins. At other times, stress and fatigue may threaten to overwhelm you.
Be mindful of your mental health as you consider skilling opportunities and future career prospects. Setting yourself up for success takes time and so you’ll need stamina and to look after yourself.
But how do you look after your mental health on your skilling journey?
Steps you can take
Working out what you’re feeling is the first step to learning how to handle your emotions. Many young people struggle to find the words to describe and talk about their emotions. You are not alone.
Learn how to identify your emotions
Try checking in with yourself each day to ask how you’ve been feeling. Then see if you can work out the triggers for both your positive and negative emotions.
Remind yourself that all feelings are okay. It’s how we respond to them that matters. If an emotion leads to a negative thought, try to reframe that thought into something positive.
It can help to think about what you’d tell a friend in the same situation – we’re often kinder to others than we are to ourselves.
Use calming exercises when necessary
If you feel negative or difficult emotions, try to find positive and safe ways to help you get through them. For example, you could:
- listen to music
- watch your favourite movie or TV show
- eat a healthy meal
- do some exercise
- talk to a friend
- get a hug from someone you trust
- ask a trusted adult for advice
- cut back on your time online
Feeling overly stressed or experiencing really difficult emotions? Try some slow, deep breathing. It’s one of the simplest and quickest ways to calm the body. Check out this useful how-to video on deep breathing from the World Health Organization (WHO).
You can also find more practical tips on coping with stress in the WHO publication Doing What
Matters in Times of Stress: An illustrated guide. You need only a few minutes each day to
practise the self-help techniques in the guide.
Remember too, it’s really good to ask for help if you need it. Sharing the load and seeking advice can have a positive impact on your life. We all need help sometimes, so don’t be scared to ask for it. Reach out to a trusted friend or adult in your life – it could just make all the difference.
Set aside time each day to look after your mental health. Your skilling journey will likely have its lows as well as its highs, so it’s important to learn how to cope with your emotions and find your calm.