Learning a new skill can be exciting and incredibly rewarding. Learning to code is an activity that you can carry out methodically in lots of small steps, which might add some structure to your week and give you a building sense of satisfaction. Freecodecamp is a completely free, non profit organisation where you can learn to code by completing a series of little challenges on your browser, taking you from complete beginner to actually completing coding jobs for charities in order to gain experience. You might find the routine calming, or that your confidence and practical work skills are improved.
What young people have told us:
'I think programming is a very useful skill to have in an age of developing technologies. Coding is also very calming and it helps my mind to focus on something and stop overthinking.'
'It is easy to get into and anyone can learn at least simple code. It helped build my self confidence because a lot of people consider it an impressive skill and it distracts your mind because you have to focus on writing and testing your code. You can be really creative and design any programs you want once you have the tools which is an amazing feeling.'
'There are so many websites out there to help you learn. Think about something you'd like to make, like a website or program and you can look up tools to create it as you go along. Don't be afraid to use code you find on the internet too to complete your project !'
There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.
If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.