Volunteers share tips for boosting mental wellbeing

During these uncertain times one of the most important things we can all do right now is take care of our mental health. Kathryn, Peer Education coordinator for Scotland, and lead volunteer for Voice Hannah, who also works for mental health charity SAMH, share their top tips for boosting your mental wellbeing during these uncertain times. 

First up, let’s check out Kathryn’s advice for girls and young women…

1. Just breathe

Take time to be yourself, switch off your phone and try to clear your mind with a spot of meditation to refocus your energy. There are loads of apps available, like Headspace, which show you how to master meditation and mindfulness by learning handy breathing exercises to help whenever you feel anxious. Headspace is on YouTube too!

2. Beat the boredom blues

Constantly trying to come up with new ways to stay entertained during lockdown can be exhausting and just add to anxiety levels. Don’t feel bad if you’re not feeling up to being really active or creative right now – take everything at your own pace. If you are in need of a fun distraction, Girlguiding’s new Adventures at Home hub offers a selection of free resources and activities to entertain girls of all ages.

3. Create a mind map for clarity

Creating their own mind map is a great way to help younger members realise the support networks they already have around them and can reach out to if they’re stressed or anxious. The idea is to draw themselves in the centre and surround themselves with the name, or drawings, of everyone they feel they can open up to about their feelings.

There are also lots of youth mental health charities out there that girls can get in touch with if they need to.

Read on for Hannah’s tips for volunteers…

You don’t need me to tell you that what we’re all going through at the moment is challenging and strange. Here are some ways to cope throughout all the chaos…

1. Get your to do list in order

I find that being productive can be a great way to stay calm and positive. Why not try writing a list of the things you feel like you never get round to doing? Like clearing out camping gear, organising unit boxes or planning the programme for next term. Even if you don’t get through your list, making a start on organising everything will still help you feel better.

Got some old badges lying around? Take this opportunity to finally sew them on to your camp blanket and share a photo on social media tagging us @Girlguidingscot using #SewcialDistancing.

2. Give yourself a break

While keeping busy and even switching to online meetings can be a great distraction, don’t feel like you need to put pressure on yourself to do anything. If you’re feeling overwhelmed it’s okay to take this opportunity to relax. You could read a book, try a new craft, do an at-home workout, video call your friends and family whenever you can or take a break – anything goes right now.

Make sure you’re taking regular breaks from watching, reading or listening to the news. While it’s good to stay well-informed, try to limit the amount of news you consume if you’re finding it upsetting.

3. Talking to young people

With schools, colleges and universities closing across the country children and young peoples’ lives have been completely transformed. It has never been more important for children to have trusted adults who they can talk to. If you need, Girlguiding has put together a list of handy tips on how to talk to girls about the ongoing Coronavirus situation.

More help

The mental health charity SAMH have created an information hub that has everything from where to find reliable, up to date information to a rundown of organisations you can reach out to if you need to speak to somebody.