Wellness spelt out

I worked in a school last week, taking an assembly on well-being for children and mental heath to Key Stage Two children. Aside from the assembly going well as the children were engaged, what was particularly interesting was the feedback I received from one teacher. He said what he liked about the assembly was that I had connected the different elements that make up mental health. The school had been teaching the children about sleeping well, eating well and talking about problems etc., but they had not addressed all the areas I mentioned together. They all fall under the same umbrella of ‘mental health’ and are all connected or inter-twined. The assembly mentioned the following key elements that I believe are essential to good well-being…

Key Elements Of Well-Being For Children

  1. Sleep
  2. Nutrition
  3. Exercise
  4. Relaxation
  5. Friendships and interaction with others
  6. Talking
  7. How we feel about ourselves

I talked about each element in detail before showing the children that if you don’t look after all of these things then it can have a knock on effect on your mental health. For example, if your friendships are not great you may feel lonely and that you don’t fit in. Worrying about it may affect your sleep and you may turn to comfort food to feel better which will change how you feel about yourself. If you don’t sleep well. you may be grumpy with your friends and want to eat more rubbish to give you a temporary boost.

I can’t believe I have not written about this before and think it is valuable that we teach our children this. Mental health is not just talking about problems and your worries, it is about looking after your mind, body and making sure that the right people are around you when you need them. It is about protecting your feelings and practising self-care. It is about getting the balance right in life and learning to be  resilient.

Mental health and well-being for children is such a large area, let’s teach our children the fundamentals and that it is a combination of elements not just one or two.

Wellbeing is about how you feel about yourself. My ebook on self-esteem can help in this area.