The past 18 months has taken its toll on the mental health of young people. We have converted our education to an online world, worked on the frontline, missed out on many social events and missed our friends thoroughly. It is great to see everything opening up again but it is very important to make sure you’re taking time for yourself to take care of your mental health. As someone who has dealt with anxiety from my early teen years, I find that setting time each day to do something for myself makes a positive difference in my mental health. Whether it's going for a walk, reading a book, painting or meditating, taking time away from screens helps centre yourself and process any emotions you’re feeling at that time.
For people that are fidgeters, like me, the PÓG spinning ring has helped me centre myself when I start to panic. Having a panic attack is not a nice experience for anyone. I try to catch the anxious feelings early on and focus on my breathing. I breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds and breathe out for six seconds. Taking the ring off, focusing on spinning the póg pendant and counting through my breaths is a helpful calming method. The Póg ring also reminds me of the love and affection I have for myself. It encourages me to face my anxiety and calm down.