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5-A-Day Approach

Only 41% of young people in Ireland report that they cope well with their problems according to My World 2

Learning how to properly cope with everyday problems is key to building resilience and maintaining healthy mental wellbeing. It is vital that young people develop coping strategies that they can carry on through their adult lives.

At the cornerstone of our Be Well programme is the 5-A-Day approach. The 5-A-Day for Mental Wellbeing was originally researched & developed by the New Economics Foundation in the UK & has been adopted & used by many organisations across the world. The 5-A-Day approach is a set of evidence-based actions that help to promote mental health. These are easy things you can do every day to improve mental wellbeing. Here are the 5 simple & practical steps:

1. Connect
Connecting is good for your wellbeing. Taking time to talk to people and to build relationships with your community is important. Sharing how we feel with others also helps us to feel more understood. Connecting is not only important for emotional support but it also helps us to develop a sense of belonging, self-worth and reduces isolation.

2. Be Active
Regular physical exercise makes us feel good and is associated with lower rates of anxiety for all age groups. Improved self-esteem is also a key benefit of physical activity. When you exercise the body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Regular exercise is proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression. It also boosts self-esteem and improves sleep.

3. Give
Seeing yourself as being part of a community or group and doing something for that group can be incredibly rewarding and can create and build connections with the people & community around us.

4. Take Notice
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Being aware of nature and what is taking place in the present directly improves your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations

5. Keep Learning
Embracing new experiences can be fun, it can enhance self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Taking the opportunity to engage in different types of activities can result in improved levels of wellbeing. Learning new things can make you feel more confident as well as being fun!

Youth Work Ireland leverages our 21 Regional Youth Services and their hundreds of trained staff to deliver anxiety education to where it is needed most. Our Be Well programme is designed to teach young people about anxiety and help them to develop strategies to cope with everyday problems. A €10 contribution can send one young person to one of our workshops across the country. #Givethegiftofwellbeing to a young person today!