Cool > ‘Exposure Asks’ ARTiculate about mental well-being

Posted on July 13, 2017

Exposure asks young people in Barnet, what makes them happy

ARTiculate, is a youth programme at all inclusive arts centre, Community Focus. It uses creativity to enhance, and celebrate the positive mental health, and emotional well-being of 16-25 year olds in Barnet.

We all have times when we feel stressed, feel low when we’re upset, or find it difficult to cope. How do young people at ARTiculate look after their mental health? And what are their strategies to cope with the ups and downs of life?

Scroll down and use the slider tool to see how this group responded, and to view relevant facts, statistics, and advice they wanted to share. The images on the left show how the young people felt while the images on the right provide information on each issue.

An early morning walk in the park is good for my soul
 by Martin Skworc

I’m Martin. I’m 23 years old, and I’m generally really good at looking after my mind and body. Simply by going for a morning walk or a cycling, you have taken yourself from being sleepy to having more energy. This can have a positive affect on your mood, for the rest of the day.

Our circulation and hormonal balance improve while feelings of mental alertness rise rapidly. The more we exercise, the more energetic we become, on a long term basis.

There are lots of great parks in the borough of Barnet where I like to take an early morning walk. Trent Country Park, Sunny Hill Park and Frairy Park are some of my favourite ones.

Eating breakfast gets the day off to a good start!
 by Shane Gunesh

I’m Shane. I’m 17 years old and I go to West Lea School. If I skip breakfast I start to feel grumpy.

Eating breakfast within an hour of walking can improve your mood, and improve brain function. The food feeds your brain, improving your memory, clarity and cognitive ability. So, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!

After a night’s sleep your body is running on empty. It’s hard to do many things when you’re hungry, let alone concentrate and learn! Imagine coming to school every day feeling like that.

Magic Breakfast is a charity in the UK ensuring that no child is too hungry to learn, by providing morning meals.

Find out what a healthy breakfast looks like, and how food can affect your mood.

We try to give ourselves some space to meditate or listen to relaxing music when stressed
 by Marista Tsioupra-Lewis and Dahria Hall

I’m Maritsa. I’m 16 years old and I like to meditate. It makes my world more manageable.

Research has found that when participants with issues of stress underwent meditation training, they experienced improvements in psychological well-being.

I’m Dahria. I’m 19 years old and when I’m upset I like to listen to relaxing music. It calms me down. Upbeat music helps me get back to my usual happy and relaxed self. I especially like listening to Beyoncé and Shakira to get me in a good mood for dancing!

A scientific study reports that listening to music, can help slow the pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease levels of stress hormones.

For tips and exercises to help you relax and look after your mental health, see Mind, for meditation check out Meditation classes in Barnet.

You could also try The Headspace App.

I love to play football it keeps my mind and body in shape
 by Jamal Brown

I’m Jamal. I’m 22 years old. I have been playing football every week since I was first at school.

I like the feeling of scoring a goal or even winning a tackle. I always feel good after a game, even if we lose!

It’s medically proven that people who regularly participate in physical activity, have up to a 30% lower risk of depression.

For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling. However, the more you do the better, and taking part in activities such as football will make you even healthier.

Engaging in a physical activity will help increase the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Being physically active can help you feel calmer, stronger and better able to deal with emotional stress.

Find your sport with Saracens Sports Foundation who have a number of clubs for young people with autism, or at Shape, who offer sports and physical activities for young people.

Be active it can really help to boost your mental wellbeing
 by Rachel

I’m Rachel. I like to keep busy. I have been learning Hindi for the past five years.

Take a walk, go swimming, learn a language or volunteer with ARTiculate at Community Focus, like I do!

Helping others is a great way to feel better about yourself. Seeing a smile or even tears of joy, makes it all worth it. It’s as simple as that. Find an activity that you enjoy, and make it a part of your life.

Here’s a few local organisations where you can volunteer – get active!
Barnet Mencap
Carerstrust Barnet Carers Centre
Community Barnet
Exposure Organisation
Fairplay
Volunteering in Barnet
Young Barnet Foundation

I love to read it helps my mind focus and my worries fade…
 by Jonathan Russell-Hall

I’m Jonathan. I’m 19 years old. Reading keeps my brain active.

Reading for pleasure has been found to improve our confidence and self-esteem, providing the grounding we need to pursue our goals and make life decisions. It can also aid our sleep, and reduce feelings of loneliness.

Bibliotherapy or ‘book therapy’ is an ancient practice. The idea that reading can help to alleviate distress and anxiety was expressed as early as the 5th century BC. The Greek tragedian Aeschylus wrote that ‘words are the physician of the mind diseased’.

Try it yourself. Borrow a book from your local library in Barnet.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series are the books that I enjoy most. How about you, what are your favourite books?

A cool dark and quiet space is what I need for a good night’s sleep!
 by André Thompson

I’m Andrè. I’m 24 years old. I am currently studying at Middlesex University. Before a test or exam I often have trouble sleeping, but usually with the right conditions, I sleep pretty well.

However, according to a survey by the Mental Health Foundation up to one third of the population may suffer from insomnia.

We spend about a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is essential. It is as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing. It is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health.

Sleep deprivation increases the risk of having low mental health, and poor physical health.

If you’re having problems sleeping, you’re not alone. Visit Young Minds or Mind for support.

If you are affected by any of the issues listed above or want to share a story of your own, we’d love your feedback! Comment below, visit our Facebook page or tweet us to let us know your thoughts.

Remember: Exposure is always looking for young writers so if you feel strongly about something email flo@exposure.org.uk.

Our thanks to John Lyon’s Charity for making this project possible.

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One Response to ‘Exposure Asks’ ARTiculate about mental well-being

  1. Priya July 26, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    This was really good as i got to see how different people maintain a good balance

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