Activities and resources to boost wellbeing
Get stuck into these mindfulness-themed activities and interest badges
We know that mental health is one of the most important issues to girls and young women today.
And with everything that’s been going on in the past few years, it’s never been more important to look after our wellbeing.
At Girlguiding we provide a safe space where girls can have fun, grow their confidence and be themselves. Promoting girls' wellbeing has always been our top priority.
But as the findings of the 2022 Girls’ Attitudes Survey show, there’s still more work to be done.
What we found
The Girls’ Attitudes Survey is our annual flagship research project, funded with thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We ask over 2,000 girls and young women about how they feel and the pressures they face.
This year, we found that 61% of girls and young women aged 11-21 agree that the pandemic has had a long-term impact on their mental health.
We also found that girls’ and young women’s overall happiness significantly declines as they enter their late teens and early 20s: 81% of 7-10-year-olds reported being happy with their life as a whole, dropping to 63% of 17-21-year-olds.
Body confidence is the area girls and young women struggle with the most as they get older.
While 79% of 7-10-year-olds told us they were happy with their appearance, this is compared to just 49% of 17-21-year-olds.
So, what can parents and volunteers do to help?
Ideas for your unit
Would you like to find a way to talk about mental health and wellbeing with your unit?
Getting stuck into a mindfulness-themed unit meeting activity can be a great way of teaching young people about mental health.
Here are some unit meeting activity and skills builder ideas for the different sections:
- Rainbows: there are all sorts of ways to feel better, from Playtime to This is me, with stage 1 of our Feel good skills builder. They can also have a giggle and learn about the positive effects of laughter with the Laughing out loud unit meeting activity from our Mind and movement topic.
- Brownies: why not Big up a Brownie from our Fair play topic? Or you can try out the Growing together activity from our Reflect skills builder.
- Guides: build body confidence and embrace individuality with One size doesn’t fit all from Feel good stage 4. Or if you’re looking for a unit meeting activity for your Guides, try out Know your strengths from our Fair play topic.
- Rangers: chill out with Relaxation station from our Mind and movement topic, or learn to love yourself with I’m worth it from our Friendship topic.
Ideas for home
Interest badges are a great way of getting your young ones to think about certain big topics and work towards a guiding achievement at the same time. Why not get stuck into these at home?
- Rainbows: it’s never too early to start thinking about what makes us happy! Find new ways to think calm with the Healthy mind interest badge.
- Brownies: give your mind a break with the Mindfulness interest badge.
- Guides: is everyday life leaving you feeling drained? Learn how to rest and recharge with the Meditation badge.
- Rangers: it’s important to make time for a little Self care. Have a go at these exercises and earn yourself an interest badge.
- We created these resources as part of our Think Resilient peer education topic to help young people struggling during the pandemic. They can be adapted to help young people process their emotions in other situations too. They’re for all young people between the ages of 7 - 21, and they aren’t linked to our programme.
- These activity videos were created as part of our Adventures at home series and can be enjoyed at home or in your unit.
- Check out this blog on five creative ways to explore mindfulness for some non-programme related fun.
- Volunteers can take on our e-learning to learn all about mental health and guiding. You can also look at our guidance on making adjustment plans or wellbeing action plans.
- Be sure to read our webpage on mental health and guiding if you’re worried about yourself or someone you know. There are also lots of useful links to support organisations including charities who provide free and confidential mental health support.
Read the full report
You can find lots more information about girls’ mental health and wellbeing, as well as the other big issues young people face today, in the latest Girls’ Attitudes Survey.