If you are looking after someone else, you must take good care of yourself too.
We understand that you have more responsibilities than other children and young people your age and we are here to help you.
The team at MYTIME Young Carers are mental health first aiders and able to have supportive conversations to signpost you to the help you need. We love the five ways to wellbeing. We use them to help structure our weekly CONNECT drop-in sessions, and they are a useful frame for making sure you are looking after yourself.
The five ways to wellbeing are Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.
Here we will break them down for you so you can take what you need today.
Connect: Talk and listen. Be there. Feel connected.
At MYTIME Young Carers, we offer you the opportunity to meet and connect with other young carers. Meeting other young carers will give you the chance to talk about your feelings and situation with someone that understands.
As a young carer, you must stay connected to your friends and family and speak to them about any concerns you have or when you need extra help or a break.
If you start to feel like things are becoming too much and need help with your caring responsibilities, we recommend talking to someone about it. Please get in touch with your support worker, teacher, school nurse or GP.
You are not alone.
You can also get in touch with:
Be Active: Do what you can. Enjoy what you do. Move your mood.
At MYTIME Young Carers, our Memory Making Days are the perfect way to let off some steam and move around. We offer lots of different activities like rock climbing, high ropes and bowling, and stays at our R&R Retreat Centre.
If you cannot make a Memory Making Day you can check out our MYTIME @ Home Programme, here you will find some physical activities you can take part in at home.
There are some great fitness and wellbeing programmes available for free on YouTube. Keeping active does not need to cost you anything!
- We love Yoga with Adrienne and find it helps set us up for the day, do not worry if you are a beginner – the 30 days of yoga with Adrienne programme is perfect if you are beginning your journey into yoga. Plus, you do not need much space or equipment to enjoy the benefit of yoga. Adrienne has a yoga video for EVERYTHING so whatever your mood be sure to check her out.
- Joe Wicks offers 'something for everyone and loads more too'. Like Adrienne, loads of his workouts are equipment free meaning you can get started straight away on building healthy habits at home.
- According to Mind, regular exercise has positive links to lower depression and anxiety rates across all age groups. Hence, we encourage you to look for ways you can include physical activity into your daily routine, whether that's taking the stairs more, walking instead of getting the bus or starting your day with a 5-minute workout!
Little and often will make ALL the difference.
Take Notice: Remember the simple things that you enjoy.
At MYTIME Young Carers, we take a moment to take notice every morning. Showing up and being present in the moment has been shown to enhance mental health.
You can take notice too by starting a gratitude list every day, expressing gratitude does loads to boost our mood. Here are just some of the ways it can help us: it makes us happier, healthier, increases our optimism, improves our sleep and helps our self-esteem too!
- Spend five minutes, either writing or thinking of what made you G.L.A.D. today:
- G: Something you were Grateful for
- L: Something you Learned
- A: One small Accomplishment from today, no matter how small
- D: Something that brought you Delight
(Try and recall what made you G.L.A.D. each day and see how it makes you feel.) we LOVE this activity so much we do it at our weekly team meetings and CONNECT sessions!
- Mindful have a fantastic guide to practising gratitude here
- One of our team's favourite books is The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, our CEO Krista and Communications Manager Ellie, read it every day!
Keep Learning: Experience new experiences. See opportunities. Surprise yourself.
We are not talking about school, university or college, though as former teachers we can talk about those things and support you with them all day long!
We are talking about learning for fun, trying something new, rediscovering an old interest and challenging ourselves to do something different.
Learning is great for us, physically and mentally.
With so many apps and programmes available for free, there are opportunities online to learn something new - our MYTIME @ Home programme is a great place to start!
So, ask yourself, 'What is it, I would love to learn or try today?'.
Give Your time, your words, your presence.
As young carers, you are already giving so we encourage you to think about how you can give back to yourself.
You can do lots of different things to give to yourself, whether that is spending time on your favourite hobby, writing yourself a note to come home to or calling a friend - whatever you do, give yourselves a break when you can.
Here is a break we love. Have you heard of the 27-minute morning routine? According to science, this could change your life! We appreciate that 27 minutes may be a lot of your time in the mornings but if you do find the time, try it! Find out more here ( The 27-minute morning routine that could change your life, according to science | The Independent | The Independent ) and below
Try the 27-minute morning routine. On waking do the following:
- Spend 5 minutes on a breathing exercise as soon as you wake up!
- Spend 2 minutes writing a gratitude list
- Spend 20 minutes learning something new
Our Communications Manager and former young carer Ellie LOVES this routine, she does not always have time to do it, but on the days she does, she says she is much more productive and ends up with more free time!
"It completely clears my head before I start the day; it gets rid of my distractions and gives me the space to work smarter. As a young carer finding anything that made life easier and helped me manage my time was always important. Though this takes 27 minutes, it ends up freeing your day more because of how productive it makes you! You've got to try it to experience its benefits."
If you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a friend, we recommend visiting www.youngminds.org.uk for practical mental health advice on:
Abuse | Anger | Body Image | Bullying | Eating problems | Exam stress | Grief and loss | Problems at school | Self-harm | Sleep issues | Suicidal feelings