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Youth Wellness Month

Join us for a month of TLC for your mental wellbeing as we explore the importance of self-help and support.

Created by the Boombox Events Youth Committee, Youth Wellness Month encourages us to check in on ourselves and our friends and to learn new tips on getting back up when we are feeling down.

Ways to get involved...

Take a pledge for your mental health

Let us know how you will be looking after your mental health this September. Sign our pledge to let us know how you pick yourself up when you are feeling down. Plus, sign the pledge and receive a FREE self care pack sent to your home!

Sign the Pledge

Boombox Events FReeZA committee members have created this event to encourage their peers to check in on their mental wellbeing during COVID-19.

Read our committee members' experiences

See below for the committee interviews, where they will be discussing their hobbies in isolation, how they pick themselves up when they are feeling down and what they are looking forward to when restrictions ease.

Interested in joining the committee? Find out more at Boombox events.

R U OK Day free event

Thank you for those who attended this event, we hope you enjoyed meeting Jo and Nathan and hearing more about their journeys. If you missed the event but would like to hear the recording, please head to our Facebook page.

Youth Committee interviews

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?

COVID-19 has completely thrown a spanner in the works for me. I deferred my university studies to travel and complete a cultural exchange program in the US for 4 months. I also had plans to travel with family in Europe afterwards. All my plans had to be cancelled which was very upsetting.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

As my year was pretty much cancelled, I’ve really enjoyed trying new activities that I wouldn’t usually have time to do. I love painting and colouring as I find it very relaxing. To make it more fun, my friends and I FaceTime each other and do it together. I’ve also loved being able to exercise more through at-home workouts and going for walks.

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling?

When I am struggling I like to connect with my friends to chat, seek advice and to just have a bit of a laugh. I find talking things over with someone else’s point of view can really put things into perspective. I also find writing out a list of things to do makes me feel more organised and less frazzled. Following a stressful day, I like to meditate before bed.

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

On a larger scale, I’m super excited to pick up my plans from this year and travel. On a smaller scale, I’m keen to physically catch up with my friends to go one walks, go out for breakky and dinner and to see my grandma.

Why is wellness month important to you?

As a young person, I completely understand the pressures we face in everyday life from the small to the big issues. That is why I think it is important to have a month completely dedicated to helping others by sharing resources and networks that can help. As a member of the Bayside City Council FReeZA Committee, I’m very excited to be a part of such an important cause.

Grace

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?

COVID-19 has really flipped my life around. As a VCE student, I’ve had to become used to transitioning to and from the remote learning environment over the last few months. Pandemic-related restrictions have also made it harder to stay in contact with friends and the wider community, which has made it a lot harder for me to manage my mental health.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

If I’m honest, I feel like I became busier during isolation, not less – studying for exams at home is really time-consuming. But when I can find the time, I’ve been journaling – writing about everything going on in my life helps me stay focused and can be really interesting (and sometimes embarrassing) to look back on at a later point!

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling?

When I’m feeling down or lonely, I make sure to get some exercise into my day. At the moment my gym is closed, so I’m running each day – or trying to, anyway! I’m lucky enough to live close to the beach, so when I can’t quite get the motivation to run, I like to walk along the beach, and listen to the waves.

What is one thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

Once restrictions lift, I am looking forward to catching up properly with my friends. As much as I love being able to talk to people virtually, I miss the connection that comes from spending time with others in person. I’m really excited to be able to leave the house again and do things like catch up with close friends over coffee, or head into the city as a group.

Why is wellness month important to you?

I believe preventative mental health strategies are the key to staying mentally well.

Eric

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?

COVID-19 restrictions has really affected and thrown my schedule around. I am used to being very active during the day and highly organised with lots of commitments, so with restrictions it’s been a big change to the routines in my life. Restrictions in particular has affected my work, social and personal life by changing the way I have to stay in touch with loved ones. In particular, I run a small business and we’ve faced big challenges since the start of the year.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

I’m really loving the extra time to renovate my room and garden, it’s been something on the 'to do list' for a while - now I finally get to do it! I’ve bought some power tools and art supplies so it’s keeping me busy. On a bright side, I am enjoying the work challenges that COVID-19 and restrictions bring.

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling?

When I am feeling challenged, I make sure I am setting a healthy routine. Regular daily exercise, eating well and staying in touch are super important to me. I also love checking in with friends for a FaceTime or Instagram chat, and make sure that I’m tuning into my favourite music.

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

I am really looking forward to catching up with my friends and going out for dinner. Road tripping and photography is also something I love doing, so lots of fun trips planned. I know that we are all in this together as a community so that brings me lots of strength and optimism.

Why is wellness month important to you?

Wellness month is so important to me because I think as young people, we really have to champion our own health and wellness. As a Bayside City Council FReeZA Committee Mentor, I am really excited to help bring wellness month to life. 

Anneke

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you? 

Being an upper high school student, Covid has lead to plenty of twists and turns when it comes to my academics from this year. From consistent changes in learning environments to adapting to wearing a mask day in, day out of school.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

At the current moment, I’m enjoying making ‘kandi’ a style of bracelet making which involves weaving elastic-like thread into beads. Additionally I also enjoy skateboarding, which I often participate in as my one hour of daily exercise outside.

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling? 

When I’m personally struggling mental health wise, I like to focus and take time for myself, alone. Typically this comes in the form of doing an arts or crafting activity. For me these help to be more calm and are also highly mindful, which I generally benefit from doing when I’m struggling. 

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

After restrictions lift, I’m looking forward to seeing my friends again. Over this period, keeping connections alive has become much more difficult, as many people have experience. Leading to the thing I’m looking forward to certainly will be seeing my friends.  

Why is wellness month important to you?

Wellness is highly important to me because of who I am in my community. I think its critical that as a young person I prioritise wellness as well as advocate for it in other young people, especially in my community. 

Dani

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?

Covid has affected the way I study at uni the most. I am studying musical theatre which is a very practical, hands on subject and requires a lot of the time in a studio dancing. Adjusting to Covid has meant moving all my classes online like so many others, and learning how to dance in the nooks and crannies of my house with internet that doesn’t want to keep up.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

My absolute favourite thing to do in Covid has been making cookies and other sweets. They are not only delicious and very fun to make, but they make the house smell amazing.

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling?

When I am struggling, I like to be alone in a quiet space with very soft lighting to de-stimulate my senses. Once I’ve settled, I usually choose a mediation or sound bath to help give my brain something to focus on while I journal and write down how I am feeling. For me putting my feelings into words helps me work through them.

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

Once restriction have lifted, I am looking forward to continuing building my new family photography business which was actually born in Covid, and get the opportunity to create beautiful portraits of people and get to meet new people.

Why is wellness month important to you?

It's really important to me because I know how important mental wellness is for day-to-day life, and how detrimental poor mental health can be. This month gives us the opportunity to learn new ways to make our daily living easier. 

Charlotte

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?

COVID has been quite difficult for me. Loss of work and isolation has left me feeling pretty lonely and bored. On the bright side it has allowed me to explore some new hobbies and find creative ways to entertain myself. 

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

I have tried lots of hobbies during COVID, but my favourites have definitely been painting, embroidery and model house making! 

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling?

When I'm struggling I like to relax and read a book or make something. Being creative allows me to relax my mind and also work towards an end product. When I'm finished I feel accomplished, even if my art isn't amazing. 

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

I am looking forward to seeing my friends and going out to dinner.

Why is wellness month important to you?

Wellness month is important to me because I think everyone needs a reminder to check in with themselves and take time to de-stress.

Shakira

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?

Currently I am year in 12 and I am 18. I was fortunate enough to have turned 18 before lockdown began, so I had a party to celebrate. Although COVID-19 has mainly impacted my schooling, being that it is my final year there is a lot of pressure, so having a pandemic on top of that has been hard. As time has gone on I have found that the most important thing is adapting to the changes and working the best that I can to get through this year.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

While being in isolation the main things I have been doing in my free time is watching my favourite TV shows and a newfound love for fitness. I have never liked fitness very much, but it has definitely been a good way to release pent-up stress from school work and a bit of a distraction.

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling?

When I am struggling the main thing I do is spend time with my family and watch something light-hearted to get my mind off the situation. My family has been such a good support system while I have been in lockdown and I don’t know what I would do without them, to vent to and spend time with.

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

One thing I am looking forward to after restrictions lift is being able to spend time with my friends and extended family and to be able to sit in at restaurants and cafes again.

Why is wellness month important to you?

Wellness month is important to me because it is a time when we can acknowledge both our mental and physical wellness, which is so vital, yet, often disregarded in the unpredictable times we are facing.

Iris

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?

I’m Iris, a new member to the FReeZA Committee, also a year 11 student in St. Leonard's College. Definitely Covid-19 has made me stay at home and have online learning for months. I would say it’s annoying to be separated from friends, and face to the computer every day. But at the same time, I have more time to spend with my family, and can sleep for 20 more minutes in the morning. Well, I kind of start to get used to the quarantine life now.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?

K-pop dance! I learnt some dancing skills during isolation, and my favorite is Korean pop dance. I highly recommend people watch some dancing tutoring videos on YouTube, you will find yourself do really well in dancing. All those videos are free and nice, they are easy to learn.

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?

Hanging out with my friends in Melbourne Central or Chadstone! It’s been so long that I haven’t gone out for shopping. Can’t wait to go back to the cinemas again and watch movies while eating popcorn.

Why is wellness month important to you?

Wellness month makes me aware of my mental health, and gives me a chance to discuss that with other people. Especially in this special time, I think wellness month just tell us that we are caring about each other. Yep, if you have any questions or stories or thoughts, feel free to leave us a message or send us an e-mail. We are so glad to talk with you, and I hope everyone can stay happy and healthy!

Jay

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how has COVID-19 affected you?
Hi I’m Jay. I’m a uni student, music producer / audio engineer and part time DJ. Covid has affected me in a number of ways. It’s prevented me from working with people in studios and shut down the live music and entertainment industry. Adapting to the new ways of living this year has been difficult and affected my mental health on a number of occasions.

What have been some of your favourite hobbies in isolation?
I’ve gotten back into running, something that I haven’t done since I was in high school and this has been my way of staying fit and getting much needed vitamin D. Producing and mixing music in my home studio has been a major source of enjoyment and by far my favourite hobby in isolation.

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are struggling?
When I’m feeling down or stressed about something I usually go for a walk and listen to my favourite podcasts or music. This helps me take my mind off things and think clearly. I usually have some of my best ideas or revelations while walking and write them down in my notes section or record them in voice memos.

One thing you are looking forward to once restrictions lift?
A night out with my friends. Covid’s made me realise how much I miss this and the big part it plays in my life.

Why is wellness month important to you?
Wellness month is a time where we all put aside our egos and focus on how we feel in the moment. It’s important we talk about the issues of mental health as a whole and a month where it’s a major theme and a fantastic way for raising awareness towards the affects of mental health.