Has the combination of lockdown and college work resulted in your child stuck indoors and glued to a screen? From working on a laptop during remote learning to scrolling on social media in their downtime, staying inside has become the norm for a lot of students, leaving outside activities a distant memory.
This Mental Health Awareness Week, The Mental Health Foundation are using the theme ‘Nature’ to highlight its importance when caring for our wellbeing. Now that lockdown is easing and we’re slowly getting back to normal, this is the perfect time to look after your teenager’s mental health by getting them outside.
The Great Outdoors
There’s no doubt that being outdoors and getting a healthy dose of fresh air is good for us in so many ways, both physically and mentally. Take a look at our top tips on caring for your teenager’s wellbeing by looking to nature, whether that’s bringing it to them or implementing some screen-free time outside.
From planning a short weekend break to the coast to booking a day trip to Go Ape, there’s nothing like a bit of adventure to spark your teen’s interest. Although trips abroad may seem like a long way off, there are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK. Why not get adventurous by booking a camping trip? Cook over fire pits, go on a few hikes and visit somewhere that you’ve always wanted to take your child. If a weekend away isn’t possible, look at some fun day trips you could do – give your child a few options and let them pick an outdoor activity in line with their interests.
Include Their Friends
If your teen is reluctant to get on board with your ideas, why not suggest they get together with friends outdoors. Encourage them to make plans as a one-off or regular activity – a simple walk around a local park or beauty spot with friends is a fantastic way to get them out and about.
Streetfood and outdoor eating is officially the way forward! Research local food vans or nearby street food festivals and take your child for an outdoor feast. Grab something to go and eat in a park or book an outdoor table at your favourite cafe – there are so many options!
Having a set event to look forward to could be a great way to get your teen outside. Now that we’re moving into Spring and the weather is getting nicer, more and more outdoor events are being planned locally. There are a whole host of events local to Milton Keynes to enjoy in the coming months, such as The Moo Weekender, The Milton Keynes International Festival, the Firewalk and The Woburn Sands Festival – in fact, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor events!
Bring Nature Indoors
If for any reason getting outside isn’t possible, why not bring nature to your teen? A fresh vase of flowers for their bedside table or a new landscape print to hang on their wall are just a couple of easy ways to bring the outdoors in.
At Milton Keynes College, we work with parents and carers just as much as our students, to ensure that every young person is well supported. We’re always here if you have any queries, so do reach out if you need to.