October 10 is World Mental Health Day — a day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and continue the efforts in support of mental health.
At Starlight, we know that happier kids heal faster, so it’s essential that parents, grandparents, and caregivers have the necessary resources to help them support their child’s mental well-being. This World Mental Health Day, take some time to read through these key resources that can help you best support your child.
Eat a healthy diet! What your child is putting into their body doesn’t just impact their physical health, but is connected to their mental health, too.
Make sleep a priority. While lack of sleep can impact a child’s mood and behavior the next day, persistent sleep problems can increase the risk of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
Teach your child to listen to their emotions. With these printable mood trackers, you can not only track your child’s emotions but can help them express how they are feeling and allow them to talk to you about it.
Teach digital hygiene. We know that technology can be an asset in many areas of our lives; it can also negatively impact a child’s mental well-being. Whether you want to establish “no phone” times, limit screen time before bed, or identify what works best for your family, there are so many ways to teach your child how to have a healthy relationship with technology.
Get physically active! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids get at least an hour of aerobic activity every day, and sometimes they aren’t getting that in at school. There are plenty of creative, fun ways to add exercise into your child’s home life and support their mental health.
Encourage your kids to get creative. Creativity can have a calming effect on your child’s mind and body, while also reducing anxiety and stress and helping them process their thoughts. Check out these tips on how to best foster creativity!
Set realistic goals with your child and help them work towards those goals! Setting goals can help increase your child’s motivation and teach them to work towards what they want. Encourage your child to watch shows and movies that educate them about mental health issues, like the new Netflix series, “The Healing Powers of Dude.”
Be a role model. Show your child the behaviors that you want to see in them — exercising, eating healthy, expressing feelings and emotions, and listening to others.
And, if you are ever worried that your child or loved one may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, there are online resources to check out like Mental Health America’s list of Mental Health tests that are available to take at home.