2020 has been and gone and what a year it has been!

The past 12 months have been like no other in living memory. After all we’ve been through there is a real need take a compassionate look at self-development and our mental health in 2021.

New year self-improvement can be a positive thing with benefits for your mental and physical health. This year, when thinking of self-improvement, find things that work for you, irrespective of what others are doing. Resist the urge to strive for an entirely new you. Approach personal growth, habit change and goals with a kinder self-talk that cares for your mental and physical wellbeing. Sometimes life can become a little overwhelming, especially when you’ve got an expectation as well as the exciting opportunities that come with having a whole new year ahead of you.

This year we hope you can:

Accept who you are – Being kind to yourself regularly is one of the best things you can do.

Nourish your body and mind – Physical activity can have a positive impact on your mood. It can relieve stress, increase self-esteem and reduce anxiety and depression.

Bring intention into your actions – Practice mindfulness which is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga.

Take time for yourself – Invest in yourself by spending 15-30 minutes each day doing something you enjoy.

If you are facing the new year feeling overwhelmed, please download the free guide from the Mental Health Foundation on ‘How to manage and reduce stress’ which contains lots of great advice.

If anything positive can come of the challenges we have faced 2020, it should be a greater awareness that mental health matters to everyone. We need to move away from a mental health system that requires people to be in crisis, towards one that is truly proactive.

The risks of poor mental health faced by care-experienced children and young people are significantly greater than their peers. Our Looked After Minds campaign is calling for the Governments in England and Wales to take urgent action to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of care-experienced children and young people.