Advice & Tips

  • Anna Polevaya

Good Mental Health begins in childhood

Mental health awareness has grown in recent years, as more and more people begin to discuss and understand the importance of taking care of our mental well-being and the effects it has on our daily lives. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and affects how we think, feel, and act, therefore determining how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

As new mothers, we know the importance of our mental well-being but also how difficult it is to maintain it. We not only face hormonal changes during pregnancy but also lack of sleep, stress, social isolation and anxiety. And we are not only responsible for our own mental health but also to create a safe and loving environment for our children.

"Cognitive fitness is similar to our Physical fitness"

Our cognitive fitness is based on a spectrum of influences including genes, early years, environment, lifestyle, habits and events. In fact, our cognitive fitness is growing most between the age of 0 and 18. That’s when we develop how we, process, learn and understand the world around us. Our cognitive fitness is similar to our physical fitness and is influenced from a very young age. Stimulating and maintaining cognitive health through childhood allows children to develop resilience to cope with everything life throws at them with less risk of mental health issues. Very Well Family is a great source to find out more about important development milestones and tips during your child's life.

As parents, we can’t protect our children from everything, everyone will experience challenges and difficulties in their life. But we found some great tips on how to help your child to develop and “train” their cognitive fitness and health:

  • Set an open and sharing environment at home so your children feel comfortable to confide in you

  • Make sure they feel loved, understood and valued frequently

  • Give them a sense of belonging whether at school, with family, friends or in their local community

  • Have open conversations and teach them to accept who they are and how to recognise what they are good at

  • Encourage brave behaviour to try something new and to step outside their comfort zone

  • Help them to find positive ways to deal with things that might be difficult

  • Give them a sense of responsibility and teach them how to get control over their own lives

  • Teach them problem-solving skills by challenging them with riddles, puzzles and talking them through real-life scenarios like bullying

  • Help them to improve their physical health by eating a balanced diet and encourage them to play outdoors

On a final note...

It's important to also be mindful of your own emotional and mental well-being. We as parents only want the best for our children so it's even more important to set a good example and know where to get the right support.

Our MumShape well being App is launching at the end of this month, we strive to provide women with baby-friendly fitness classes and well-being support on their journey through pregnancy and beyond. With access to midwives and health experts that will guide you through maintaining you're well being whilst your body encounters hormonal changes during and after pregnancy.

You can find out more and pre-sign up for a MumShape membership here.

For more information and guidance on mental health issues please visit:

National Institue of Mental Health

#mentalhealth #childrenmentalhealthweek

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