What piece of advice would you give your teenage self?

As part of Youth Mental Health Day, we asked the team at Mind in Bradford for a piece of advice they would give their teenage self!


My advice to my teenage self would be that your sensitivity is a superpower. And that we should all feel a range of emotions, not just happiness, and that all our feelings are meant to be felt and they are as important as each other. And that when you’re going through something difficult, that it’s okay to seek help for those more difficult feelings that feel more challenging.

A message for myself when I was a teen is be confident of what you’re doing. Look at the bigger picture, look forward to the future. And make sure that you put together a plan to get there, because you’re gonna get there. Seek support from people around you, because you will have lots of people who love you and want to support you. And I’m sure, with your confidence and the support around you, you’re going to achieve all the difficulties, and all the things that you think you’re not going to achieve. Take care of yourself.

I think it’s really important to treat yourself with the same kindness that you would treat your friends with. And remember we’re all human beings, we make errors of judgement regarding career, sometimes relationships. But that’s okay, because we can see them as actual learning experiences, rather than mistakes. So, just treat yourself kindly.

My advice to my teenage self would definitely be to get outside more. To work as hard as you play. But also, not to be afraid to take a chance, have a go at something. I stayed at home, I went to university, I had the chance to go away. I don’t think I was brave enough to do it. In hindsight, maybe I should. That’s just something that I think about every now and again, every so often. So, if you’ve got an opportunity, as long as you’ve thought about it, you think it’s the right thing to do, just go for it.

My advice for my teenage self would be just to have a bit more self-compassion. That super loud, really critical voice in your head will get a bit quieter if you start to speak to yourself in a kinder way. I know this is easier said than done. But just remember that you are enough. And no one else is you and that is your superpower.

Posted on: 21st September 2023

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