Youth Positive Mental Health

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This year the Irish Red Cross Youth took part in the An Post “Care Home Community Focus” initiative, which allows letters and cards to be sent free of charge to Nursing and Care home until the end of January. 

IRCY groups made cards with messages to send to care home residents to cheer them up at this difficult time, when many residents are isolated and unable to see their family and friends due to visiting restrictions. 

This initiative highlights one of the IRCY’s priorities – community. Although their much-anticipated annual events had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, the youth members managed to stay connected to their community with virtual events, including an innovative Virtual Youth Camp in August. Members from all over the country took part in this year’s camp, which included a remote scavenger hunt and a Tik Tok challenge. 

The IRCY’s Positive Mental Health Programme has also come to the fore during Covid-19, in a time where young people’s daily lives have been changed drastically due to the pandemic. The programme aims to provide young people with a set of tools for monitoring their mental health and well-being.  

Recognising the added strain that Covid-19 can put on young people’s mental health, Andre Dias, a youth volunteer from the Terenure/Rathmines branch, put together these handy tips for ensuring that people take care of their mental health as well as their physical health. 

Routine: If there is one most important goal, it is to establish a routine for our body and mind. Our bodies work the best when there is both a biological and functional routine.

Exercise: Inculcating physical exercise takes effort and determination. Whilst online whether on the phone or laptop, we can stand, sit do push ups against the table, jog on the spot, take two steps at a time, etc. It is important that physical activity becomes a way of life. We humans were designed to move. Keeping our bodies moving, will lubricate the joints and make us sharper, mentally.

Diet: Plenty of water to flush out the toxins in our body is essential. One way of deciding how much to drink is by gauging the colour of urine, it should be a very pale yellow.

Sleep: It is paramount especially during these anxious times. Restrict caffeine and digital media before bedtime. Try to instead structure “reading hard copy books at least an hour before turning into bed. Turn on blue light filter on devices. Turn away from the screen at least every half an hour or so.

Goals: We all should have goals, whether academic, sports, personal skills. Documenting progress and making a logbook/diary either digital or hard cover would be useful. 

Communication: It is essential to keep in touch with friends and family as we as humans are social animals. However, it is important to filter out the negative media content as negative content can impact on our mental health more than we recognise.

Irish Red Cross Youth

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