Hobbies Like Puzzles

Having a hobby that you can throw yourself into during tough times is so important. It should be something that makes you happy and takes your mind off things. Making it something that’s a little mentally challenging is a bonus too! It will help build your mental resilience, which will make you better at problem solving and dealing with issues when they arise. Think of them like going to the gym, for your brain!

Find what works for you but here’s a few suggestions!

  • Do a puzzle – maybe even a big one that you can get your family involved with! This could be a great team building exercise and who doesn’t love a puzzle?! A board game is a good shout too.
  • Complete a cross word, word search or sudoku puzzle.
  • Painting and drawing- this one’s for the creative folk!
  • Learn an instrument or challenge yourself to learn tough song. Apparently the band Architects wrote one of their last albums intentionally more difficult than their skill level of playing. This was to force themselves to get better at their instruments. I love this idea!
  • Learn the science behind taking a good photograph and then set yourself a photography project of capturing things you love, This could be your fave bands, or your best friends! Or even what you have for tea every night! Whatever you like!
  • Read a book.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Meditate.

Pick something and practice it! It could open up a while new world to you!


Random Acts Of Kindness For Others

Random acts of kindness is simply doing something nice for someone else, without them asking you to or you expecting something in return.

When you do something nice a chemical called Oxytocin is released in your brain. It’s the love hormone! It makes us feel happier, healthier, calmer and have an increased self-worth. It’s also just lovely to make someone else’s day by thinking about them and helping them out.

Some ideas of random acts of kindness to help you get started are:

  • Pay the first two people you interact with today a compliment
  • Donate to a charity or take some things to a charity shop
  • Share a positive message on your socials (check out the HATW instagram for some inspiration!)
  • Smile genuinely at 5 people you pass today
  • Write a review of some good customer service you’ve had from a business
  • Reach out to a friend
  • Say hello to someone in school (or work) that you haven’t spoken to before. Ask them how their day is going.
  • Offer to buy someones coffee or lunch behind you in the que
  • Send a care package to someone you know who is going through a tough time- HATW has some for sale right now!

It’s important that if someone does something for you, that you pay it forward too and keep the cycle going. Kindness is cool!


Make A Cosy Corner/ Safe Space

Everyone needs a place they can go to where they feel safe, can calm down, or think through solutions to their problems. It should be somewhere that feels cosy and appeals to you visually that is away from others, so you can have some privacy. This place is where you can feel all your emotions and take a break. It could be your bed, somewhere in your bedroom or house, somewhere in nature, or even an imaginary space.

Be there, or picture yourself there. Fill it with things that make you happy and that feel good to touch. If you want to reach out for help, go to your cosy corner to speak to someone on the phone or bring them there so you feel safe whilst you emotionally open up. Listen to your favourite music whilst there or read an uplifting blog post like this one from our friend Becky!  Having a little rest in your cosy corner can reset your thinking and make you feel comforted. It’s your space and it should make you feel safe.


Create A Safety Plan

A safety plan is a tool to assist in identifying options and evaluating them, and can limit the harm brought upon you. This is especially useful if you live in an unsafe environment. 

There is no right or wrong way to develop a safety plan but you have to come up with it yourself so it’s easy to remember. Think about the following:

  • Who can you call that will help you if you’re in danger
  • Where’s a safe place you can stay or get to
  • Things you might need in an emergency- medication you take/your phone charger etc
  • What to do if you’re caring for someone else or if they need support
  • What is the safest and quickest way out of your house
  • To tell the police if you’ve left home
  • Remember- In an emergency call 999

Try and keep your phone charged as much as possible, and always have some money with you in case you need it to help you. Keep your emergency items somewhere handy and close to your exit, so they’re easy to grab if you need them. 

A safety plan can also be a list of things you want to try and do if you’re feeling like you’re a risk to yourself. It could be a list of coping techniques that work for you, and a list of people you will reach out to for support. This could be friends, family members, teachers in school or helplines you can contact for professional help. It’s all about keeping you as safe as possible.

Write down your plan, keep it in your phone, discuss it with someone you trust.

If you want more information on how to keep yourself safe if you’re home isn’t a safe space, please check out this blog post. And remember, nothing lasts forever and you are worthy of happiness.


Take A Break From Social Media

Sometimes it’s good to switch off. Having a break from your phone or tablet is a good way to reset. It’s a chance to reconnect with the ‘real’ world and can help you get past the fear of missing out. Will the world end if you don’t check your phone? Probably not! This is a chance to improve your mood and help you live in the moment. Give yourself a phone free hour every day. You’ll appreciate the break from comparing yourself to others and the stress of  how many likes your getting. It’ll help improve your sleep too!

If you want to know more about ways to de-stress and unwind (especially before bed) Si put together a blog post on Getting A Good Night’s Sleep here!


Grounding 5-4-3-2-1

Feeling all over the shop and burned out? Try some grounding techniques. Stop and take a breath. Notice things around you. Acknowledge them. Tick off the following mentally:

5 things you can see

4 things you can touch

3 things you can hear

2 things you can smell

1 thing you can taste

This will help you move through distressing moments, focus your thinking and  calm you down. It will help you feel more present and ground you to your surroundings when you’re disassociating, having flashbacks or feeling anxious. Try it now!



Inside Exercises

Exercising inside is a great way to help with your fitness and boost your physical resilience. It’s a good place to start if:

  • You’re new to exercise
  • The weather is bad outside
  • You just don’t feel up to leaving the house
  • You physically can’t.

It’ll boost your serotonin and make your body healthier. Find something you feel comfortable doing. It could be using some weights, doing yoga or having a stretch, following a Joe Wicks YouTube workout or even just having a dance party in your kitchen! As long as you’re raising your heart rate and feeling a little bit out of breath- you’re on the right path. Even tidying your room could be considered a form of exercise if you do it with enough energy! Put a play list on and move your body. Take your mind off things. Focus on you.

Check out  Jo’s story to see how exercise can help!


Spa Day At Home

Taking the time to show yourself some physical self-care can really reset you and help you de-stress. Not all of us have the time or money to book a fancy spa appointment every week (wouldn’t that be nice though!) However there are ways to pamper yourself from home that can really lift your mood when you need it!

  • Use a face mask/ give yourself a facial
  • Have a bubble bath or use a bath bomb
  • Light a candle in the bathroom (put it somewhere safe and make sure it doesn’t drip on anything!)
  • Use some hand cream and give yourself a hand massage
  • Moisturise
  • Paint your nails
  • Put a drop of lavender oil on your pillow to help you sleep
  • Wear an eye mask
  • Listen to soothing, relaxing music when you’re in the bath.


Whatever works for you- just use that time to take care of yourself! You deserve it!

If you’d like to learn about other basic ways to self-care, Si put together a handy video with some tips!



Colouring is a great way to escape and take your mind off things. It’s a good activity to do if you want to keep your hands busy and have a creative outlet. A lot of people tell us it’s a helpful way to work through their anxiety.  It’s proven to relax the fear center of your brain, and can improve your motor skills and vision. It’s a positive thing to focus on in times of stress, but it’s also just a fun activity to do! Colouring can be calming and soothing.

We have a bunch of free colouring sheets for you to print off on our website in the Resources section, under Activities!

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