Tai Chi & Qigong
Tai-Chi and Qigong are traditional Chinese activities that have roots in martial arts training, and are also widely practiced for their health benefits. Qigong is about balancing your ‘qi’, which translates as life energy. It involves coordinating slow flowing movements with deep rhythmic breathing and is said to promote a calm, meditative state of mind. YouTube is a great place to search for introductory videos to see if it’s something you’d like to practice regularly.
Tai-Chi moves relate to the philosophy of yin and yang, the idea that seemingly opposing forces are actually complementary, connected and essential to each other. Many people associate this practice with mindfulness, because of how it asks that you focus your mind solely on your breathing and the light movements.
The NHS have an online guide to tai chi and the below video is a gentle introduction to tai chi from Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust which you can try at home:
What young people have told us:
'It calmed me and focussed on nature and movement of nature and have a sense of peace.'
'I think anyone who wants time out of current pressure could benefit from this. So I'd say go for it.'
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.