1. Start small

“Watch your habits, they become your character, watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu knew the power of routine and habits, but these can be forgotten about as we get swept away by the bigger picture.

The Young Mind bloggers list routine, journaling, practising gratitude and checking in with themselves among the small habits that make a big difference to their mental wellbeing. Making positive actions habits gives them strength and allows them to become second nature, but as Laura explains, it’s good to stay flexible in case things need to change,

“I aim to create an adaptable routine as it’s important to understand that each day will not always go to plan.”

2. Power off

We realise the irony of telling you to tone down the screen time while reading this blog on our website but stick around just a little longer just to hear some alternatives from 14-year-old Grace.

On the Young Mind’s blog Activities you can do that don’t involve screens, she suggests taking up a new hobby, like painting, sketching, photography or reading, getting some exercise, or just going for a walk, instead of whiling away the time scrolling through social media.

3. Give yourself a little lift

“It’s hard to realise that flaws don’t make us weak or imperfect, they make us human.” These are the wise words of Aimee, 17, who uses the analogy of a vinyl record to describe our sometimes harsh inner critic. With two sides – a positive one that uplifts us and a negative that causes doubt – Aimee says we can choose which side we play and listen to.

And when falling into the comparison trap? She simply reminds herself that, “everyone brings something different.”

Want to know more? Take a look at these seven steps from Young Minds to tackle low self-esteem.

4. Put yourself first

Here’s the thing – by looking after yourself first, you’re doing everyone around you a big favour.

As Aimee pointed out before, everyone brings something different, and by taking care of yourself, you’re bringing your fully-charged uniqueness to the table for everyone to appreciate.

Writer Honor likens this to when the aircrew tell you to put on your oxygen mask before helping others.

“Your body is the thing that you have to carry with you through life and that’s why it’s crucial for you to look after it. You should treat your body as if it’s the body of someone you love,” she says.

A good sleep pattern tops the list for her self-care suggestions, along with taking a break from screens in her Young Minds article, Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about putting yourself first.

Ready to learn more about caring for your mental wellbeing?

Young Minds have loads more advice, tools and resources on their website. And don’t forget, you can choose for 25% of your policy revenue to go to Young Minds to support the empowerment of young minds, now and in the future.