The five ways to wellbeing
Evidence suggests there are five steps you can take to help improve your mental health and wellbeing:
With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
- Be active
Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you fe el good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
- Take notice
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
- Keep learning
Try something ne w. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.
Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
Connecting with others
If you are finding it difficult to connect with those around you, there are a number of organisations offering support that may be able to help you feel more connected and supported:
- Anxiety UK has a telephone helpline and online chat options
- MIND runs a supportive online community called Side by Side
- Silver Line offers a free telephone helpline for older adults
- Age UK has some useful information on combatting loneliness for older adults
- CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) has some tips on managing loneliness
- Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling. You can contact them by texting 85258.
- The Good Neighbour Scheme at Community Action may be able to link you with a volunteer in the community for a 'check in and chat' (telephone and/or face to face). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01332 227721.
- Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people. If you are interested in volunteering, the Volunteer Centre at Community Action can help! Call 01332 342272 or email email@example.com
- Relaxation techniques like controlled breathing and muscle relaxation might sound simple, but can be useful tools for feeling calmer quickly and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. The Samaritans have put together some videos for you to practise at home.
- MIND has some tips on how to relax and reduce stress.
Families, children and young people
Sleep problems can be a real concern for parents. The NHS has a comprehensive webpage with some healthy sleep tips for children.
- Staying safe online
If you are concerned about your child spending more time online or on apps, the NSPCC website has lots of advice to help you learn about staying safe online as a family.