Meet Ava, one of our newest young volunteers, and passionate advocate of empowering young people to speak about mental health. To mark Self Care Week, Ava has written a blog entry to give you an insight into her world, and to offer some tips for other young people out there.
“I think sometimes it is difficult to understand how to look after yourself in these challenging times. You may get angry at yourself or suddenly feel sad for no reason, and that’s okay – we all feel like that sometimes. The most important thing to understand is that you’re not the only one who is down sometimes or can’t manage all the challenges that life throws at you, you are one of many. My advice to you, as we enter self care week is to attempt things slowly, when you are shown a task that you feel you can’t face, whether that be homework, volunteering, a new activity or something entirely different, the first thing to do is to break it down completely. Step by step, know where the first step is and then move onto the second when you feel ready. Most importantly, let people know you need help. It may seem to you like you don’t want to look “silly” asking for help, but just know that if we don’t ask for help in our lives, how are we going to learn how to do things? It’s not silly to ask for help, sometimes it is necessary.
Another thing to note, is sometimes you should take a break that is solely for you. Not for your homework, your family or your social media needs. Just for you, relax, do nothing. And remember if you feel like you are wasting time, note that you are thinking and sometimes it is good to do a little bit of self-reflection to assess how you feel about things, whether that be lockdown, school life, home life, work or friendships, its important to know how you feel so that you can understand yourself a little better – there is no harm in that. And if you feel you need to talk to somebody, there are always people available to listen to you. Whether that be your own personal group or someone outside, I’m sure they will be there to support you and listen to your needs.
So, take care and remember it’s okay to feel how you are feeling, to ask for help and to take some time just for yourself. That’s the best way to grow and develop, because you are listening to yourself and understanding your own mind before doing other things that may need your own personal input. A lot of the time people and work want your perspective. Because you are unique.”
Would you like to know more about what we do or the support that is out there? To get in touch with Young Healthwatch Westminster, you can email Alex or message us on Instagram. You can also visit our webpage which has a lot of information on how you can find support for your mental health.