Mental Health Wellness

Emotional First Aid Video
by Guy Winch, PhD

Brain Health/Mental Health starts with the basics:

Getting good quality of sleep
     Sleep is the foundation to feeling good.  If your child is not getting at least 9-12 hours of good quality, uninterrupted sleep, they will most likely feel anxious and be easily stressed. 
Sleep Hygiene for Children and Teens Tips Sheet

Having a well-balanced diet
    Sugar and processed foods (foods that are not found in nature) are a major contributor to anxiety and other medical problems.  Our bodies and minds need nutrition from "real" food.
Nutrition and Mental Health
Healthy Food for Kids
Athlete Plates
    Our bodies need to move.  Children (teens and adults too) should be spending their time outside of school running, playing, and moving.  Several studies have found that exercise can build your resilience, protect your brain against the damaging effects of stress, and show that it has the same effects on mood and the brain as antidepressant medications. 
Benefits of Exercise on Mental Health:  How to boost your mood
Why Exercise is Wise

Breathing and Relaxation
    In today's fast-paced world and endless distractions, we are in need of some intentional practice of mind discipline.  Breathing is essential to helping ourselves find a place of calm.  Oxygen to the brain is very calming to our nervous system.  Below has several examples of breathing, imagery, progressive muscle techniques, and other calming strategies to incorporate in your daily life.
Calming Strategies
Mindful Teachers Living, Learning, and Teaching with Mindful Awareness Resources
Mindfulness for Kids and Their Adults
Kids Relaxation Helping Parents and Educators Activate Children's Highest Potential
Mindfulness for Teens Discovering Your Inner Strength
Inner Health Studio Coping Skills and Relaxation Resources

Calming Apps to De-Stress and Clear Your Mind:
Smiling Mind

    Relationships play a huge role in how children feel.  It is important to feel connected to others.  Ask yourself the following questions - Does your child feel loved?  Do they have healthy relationships with you and their siblings?  Do they have at least one friend?  Feeling stressed can make you feel lonely.  When you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important to find someone to talk with.
Tips for Building Resilience in Children and Teens
True You Workbook
How to journal with your child to foster a deeper connection
Conversation Starters for families

Unscheduled Leisure Time
    It is important that children have quiet time away from screens.  It is good for them to experience boredom and it is necessary that they "unplug".  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children should be limited to less than two hours of screen time a day.  So, go outside, move, explore, and have fun!
AAP Media Use Article
Family Media Plan

     Practicing gratitude provides several physical and psychological health benefits.  It enhances empathy and reduces aggression.  Studies show that grateful people sleep better and it increases self-esteem.   
Forbes Article on the Scientific Benefits of Gratitude
21 Day Gratitude Challenge

And remember, the goal of the above lifestyle areas is improvement, not perfection.  It is important to have a balance.
Stones balancing

The Family Support Center does not endorse any organizations or individuals outside of the Spencerport Central School District.  These resources are for informational purposes and should be pursed based on the consumer's own criteria.