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Undertake action

Anne-Laura van Harmelen explains how to develop an action plan to make yourself feel better.
ANNE-LAURA VAN HARMELEN: Up until now, we’ve talked about how to build resilience. You’ve learned that support from friends and family is really important and that you need to talk to someone about your feelings and about what you’ve experienced. And it’s also very important that you take good care of yourself. To make use of these tools, you need to take action because you need to nurture your relationships. So go and talk to your family members and go and do something fun with your friends. Perhaps you can take up volunteering work because it can be satisfying to help other people. You can also find a new hobby to relax, like joining a theatre club or a music club.
And this can also help you meet new people. And that way, you’re broadening your network of people that can support you. It’s also important to be physically active and to take care of yourself. So go and do some exercises. Go running. Take a bath. Go to the hairdresser’s. That kind of stuff. It may be easier to think about what you want to do than to actually go and do it. So in the next bit, we’ll show you how to make an action plan to go on and actually do what you want to do. For any good plan of action, you need to set yourself goals that you can actually achieve. That will help you stay motivated.
So it is really important to set yourself small goals. And that way, even when you achieve them, you’ll feel really, really good about yourself. Thus, a good plan of action consists of little steps that you can take that will help you achieve your large goal. And to make such a plan of action, you actually swap it around, so you start with your big goal and then you cut it in smaller pieces that are achievable for you. Here, I’ll show you how to do it. For instance, I want to take up volunteering work, but I don’t know where to start because there are so many organisations that I’d like to help.
So my first goal will be to make a list of all the organisations in the neighbourhood where I could volunteer and to arrange the organisations with the organisations that I would like to help best at the top. My second goal would be to find three organisations, and to ask them if they need volunteers, and what that will comprise of, and on what days they need help. I will then also ask if I can come and have a look. I will take a look at least two out of these three organisations. And when I’ve done that, I will choose the organisation that I like best.
And that will bring me to my fourth goal, namely to help half a day at that organisation. And then, when I’ve done that and I like it, I will arrange a fixed day to help at the organisation, which is my last goal. So now, you do it. Make an action plan for something that you’ve always wanted to do. And hopefully, this will help you achieve that.

In the previous steps you learned which tools can improve your resilience. It is important that for all of these tools you need to take action. In this video Anne-Laura van Harmelen explains how to do this.

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Young People and Mental Health

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