Hi penguin pals! Tomorrow (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day – a day to talk about the importance of what goes on in your mind. Did you know? Almost 1 in 4 young people show some sign of mental ill health. With the pressures of social media, schoolwork and more, raising awareness of this couldn’t be more important. A topic like mental health is often stigmatised, even though it affects so many of us.
That’s why we need to talk and look after our minds just like we look after our physical health. Today, I’ll be sharing some ways you can show your support for mental health charities, details for a meet-up on the Island to spread the word and a few tips for keeping calm and putting your mental wellbeing first.
#HelloYellow: Supporting YoungMinds
In the UK, the charity YoungMinds encourages schools to get involved in showing support for the mental wellbeing of young people. It’s simple: wear yellow and raise money for a great cause. I’ll be donning a yellow tie at school tomorrow and fundraising with a bake sale.
Club Penguin Island is a community made up of penguins from all around the world, so while YoungMinds provides support for young people in the UK, you might want to show your support for charities where you are. Another great charity I know of is Kids Help Phone in Canada, which Club Penguin have supported too in the past. They provide a phone and chat service for kids to talk to someone for support and advice. For them, having a listening ear can make all the difference. Take a search around to see which organisations are helping young people where you are!
Everyone can get involved with #HelloYellow on Club Penguin Island to show support for awareness of young people’s mental health. Whether that’s making your own yellow item or wearing a gold/orange non-member tee, you can help spread the word about this important cause. Let’s paint the Island yellow together!
World Mental Health Day Meet-Up
Penguins love to party, so let’s party for a good cause! Come on down in your yellow outfit to show your support for mental health awareness, let others know what’s happening and have a ton of fun on the Island. 😄
When: October 10th, 1pm PST
Where: Island Central, Alpine
Why: To spread the word about mental health
AND don’t forget your Duck Tubes! If we’re going to do tube races at this party, we’ve got to make Summit Plummet yellow too.
Tips for looking after your mental health
Even keeping cool on a half-snowy Island can be tricky. Taking steps to a more positive you are much easier than you’d think, and there’s many apps, tools and techniques you can use to help. Here’s a few from mental health organisations and myself:
- Try meditation: Breathe. It’s that simple and it can make a huge difference. We’re constantly thinking about what’s happened and what’s happening – and meditation lets you take a step back from all that into the present moment, where you’re focused on your breathing. The Headspace app is great for guided meditation – it’s as easy as being present in your surroundings.
- Talk about how you’re feeling: Emotions run wild in the minds of young people – well, they certainly run wild in mine. It’s good to let off some steam and let someone know how you’re feeling. You could talk to a family member or trusted friend, and they can offer you a listening ear and even some advice. If you’d like to talk to someone else, you could reach out to a counselling helpline like Kids Help Phone or ChildLine, talk to a school counsellor if you have one or talk to your doctor. Just talking can make all the difference.
- Ask for help: Nobody can be perfect all the time, and sometimes worries can get in the way of us speaking up. From struggling at school to a more personal problem, there is always a positive to every negative. Reaching out for help can help you find that positive. Talking to a trusted adult like a parent or teacher or one of the services I discussed above could help you find help.
Keeping your digital life under control
- Keep screen-time to a limit: I’m guilty of this one… I’m glued to my smartphone day and night and it does me absolutely no good. If you’re looking to lead a more positive life, disconnect for a little while. You can use Screen Time features on iOS and Android to lockdown your phone while you’re supposed to be asleep, and set limits for the apps you use. Taking a break from the Internet is ok, and you’ll end up feeling much more refreshed after.
- Live your best life in real life: There can be a huge pressure for young people to share all the moments of their lives on social media. In reality, people only share the good parts… that’s not real life! Life is full of ups and downs and having ups and downs is normal. YoungMinds suggests trying an activity without sharing it on social media. That’s a great idea, and it gives you something to talk about face-to-face with your friends without them already knowing.
- Log off with something to make you smile: The Internet can be a really happy and positive place sometimes, but the not so good stuff spreads fast. When you’re winding down before you sleep, try to find something to make you smile. It could be a funny post or video or a bit of positive news to restore your faith in humanity. If it makes your heart feel happy, that’ll leave you feeling much happier when you log off.
If you’d like some more advice on looking after your mental health, check out the YoungMinds website.
Have a great World Mental Health Day
I really hope you found this post helpful and you’ll join me tomorrow on October 10th to wear yellow on the Island to raise awareness for young people’s mental health. Please do check out some of the amazing organisations sharing advice and support for your mental wellbeing. I can’t express enough how important this is and that’s why I care so much for this cause. Do you have any more tips for looking after your mental health? Will you be celebrating and fundraising for World Mental Health Day in the real world? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading, penguin family! Until next time…