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We’re living in strange times at the moment, a global pandemic, social distancing, being separated from friends and family, all while coping with the effects of not having our daily routines of school, college or work to break up the boredom. Add to the mix the social unrest that is simmering across the country and this can culminate in a lot of mixed feelings - fear, confusion, worry and sometimes anger. You may feel that there aren’t many options open to you to release these feelings and unload yourself of the stress you are accumulating, but there are actually many things you can do to lift your mood and take care of your mental health when you feel it is all getting on top of you. Here are just a few activities you could try to help support yourself...

- Take a break from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

- Have a social media detox! It may seem difficult at first, but the less time you spend on social media platforms the more your mood will lift. Remember not to compare your life to that of your favourite social media influencers, they are only showing you the best of their life, not the reality.

- Practice some self-care. Be kind to yourself and your body. Do some deep breathing exercises, stretch, meditate and recharge.

- Try to eat healthily. Plan some well-balanced meals, drink lots of water, exercise regularly and try to get a good night’s sleep. Stick to a fixed bedtime and a morning routine that will get you off to a good start each day.

- AVOID alcohol and drugs.

Generally make time to mentally unwind, go back to activities you enjoy but you may not have had much time for lately, such as reading, cycling or walking and ensure that you stay connected with others by calling or video calling to have a catch-up. We’ve compiled some more ideas for activities on our website, come and take a look.

In direct response to the current crisis and in a bid to navigate the Coronavirus restrictions, at Youth Connect South West, we are adapting our processes and systems to ensure that we can continue our work with young people in our local area by...

- Continuing to work with young people who were working with our service, keeping in touch with them by phone, text, email and online face to face meetings using Zoom

- Continuing to receive referrals for young people who need support from us and starting to work with them remotely

- Our Youth Work teams are out in local areas every evening engaging with young people, passing on public health advice and talking about their experiences

- Our Youth Groups in Westfield, Timsbury, Radstock and Paulton have moved online using Zoom. Young people can meet virtually with friends and youth workers for games, quizzes, activities like cooking and issues-based work

- Young people who need someone to talk to can get 1:1 support from one of our workers on Google hangouts by following the instructions here.

So, where else can you get help? There are lots of local organisations who can help with a wide range of things...

- Young people in BANES can access online support with mental health issues at

- You can also call your GP, even though surgeries are not seeing all patients face to face at the moment ,there will still be someone there to answer the phone and you can ask for a telephone or online appointment.

- In a crisis you can contact:

The YoungMinds Crisis Messenger text service for free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text YM to 85258.

Childline 0800 1111

Samaritans 116123

At Youth Connect South West we would also be happy to talk with you to find the right support, email us on or phone us on 07980 998670 and remember, be kind to yourself, these are difficult times.


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