6 Ways to Wellbeing

Research has shown that there are some basic ingredients - the six ways to well-being - that ensure good well-being at any age. These help to improve our enjoyment of life, self-confidence and engagement with the world around us, and protect us from mental health problems when life is more challenging. 

Make sure you and others in your family get all these ingredients in your day to day lives. You can combine some of them, for example, going for a walk (being active) with a friend (connection) being fully present in the experience (take notice).

1. Connect

Interacting with others helps us to feel connected, supported and part of a bigger picture in which we all play an important part.

Make time in your day or your week to connect with others, stay in touch, give and receive emotional support and share conversations and experiences. Being in touch with people who are positive can also change your perspective for the better. 

With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.

  • Talk to someone instead of sending an email
  • Speak to someone new
  • Reach out to a friend to arrange a meet up
  • Phone a friend and/or or talk with your partner
  • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.
2. Be Active 

Any activity that gets you moving or enjoying the great outdoors is good for wellbeing including walking, gardening, having a kickabout in the park or simply taking the stairs.

There are mood-boosting benefits to being active as well as health gains.

To make an activity work for you, make sure it’s one you enjoy. Consider doing an activity with a friend to improve motvation.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs not the lift
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk into work - perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
  • Have a kick-about in a local park
  • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning
  • Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.
3. Keep Learning 

Learning adds to your skills and keeps your brain active, increasing your self-confidence and inspiring others.

People who continue to learn after leaving school have a greater sense of wellbeing, purpose and self-esteem, and it brings people who share the same interests together.

Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Sign up for a class
  • Read the news or a book
  • Set up a book club
  • Do a crossword or Sudoku
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Learn a new word.
4. Give

Helping others can create positive feelings and boost wellbeing.

Helping others or giving your time to your community, whether through small acts of kindness or a regular commitment to volunteering, is proven to be good for mental wellbeing. If you have some time on your hands, there are many organisations that depend on volunteers - a regular slot will help you to build your social networks.

This Kindness Matters guide produced by the Mental Health Foundation also includes suggestions that may inspire you.

5. Take notice 

Being fully in the present moment experience can positively change your outlook and how you feel about life

Mindfulness is a technique that has been proven to help manage stress and promote wellbeing. Being mindful means being fully in the present moment, being aware of your body and the physical world around you as it is. This helps you in turn to let go of worries about what has passed or what you think may happen in the future. It can be a useful tool for dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings, particularly at a time when the pandemic has created uncertainty and disruption.

Take some time to notice the moment, the environment around you and your feelings or sensations, just as they are. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pause and check in with yourself - how are you feeling?
  • Go out into nature and notice the sights, sounds and smells of everything around you
  • Sit on a bench in the park and watch the world go by
  • When your notice your mind wandering, focus back onto the present moment and what is actually happening in the here an now
6. Self-care

Self-care starts with looking after you. Keeping yourself mentally and physically well means that you have more to give others when they need it. It starts with basics, such as having a good routine, a purpose for the day, looking after your body with exercise, sleeping well and eating well. 

Take some time for yourself to do the things you enjoy and care about.

Be kind to yourself when you make a mistake or worry that you might have made a mistake. Self-compassion is the antidote for self-criticism. Self-compassion helps us to be much more resilient when life gets tough. 

Look at this website for helpful resources on self-compassion https://self-compassion.org/ 

For more information on the ways to wellbeing visit the Mind and Hants websites. 

Back to Basics is an initiative set up by Hampshire County Council with information and advice on supporting your child's emotional wellbeing 

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