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Wellbeing challenge

Five ways to wellbeing

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Five ways to wellbeing

From connecting with those around us and helping others, to learning something new or being more active, evidence suggests there are five simple steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing and feel more positive.

Whether you’ve got a minute to spare, an hour or longer, below are some suggestions about simple things you could do right now to improve your wellbeing.  Let us know if you’ve got other great ideas we could add to these.

 

Connect ...

with the people around you - family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.  Talk and listen. Spend time developing these relationships.

Got a minute?

  • Every friend you’ve got started out as a stranger.  Say ‘hello’ to someone new.
  • Message a friend.  It doesn’t matter what it says, people appreciate it when you think of them.

Got an hour?

  • Take time out each day to be with your family.
  • Phone or write to someone – it's all too easy get into the habit of only ever texting, messaging or emailing.
  • Have a coffee or a beer with a friend, family member or colleague who needs support or company.
  • Switch off the TV and play a game with your children or just talk (here are some tips on talking to children about feelings and talking to teenagers)
  • Make the most of technology – video chat apps like Skype and FaceTime are a great way of staying in touch with friends and family, particularly if you live far apart
  • Invite someone you wouldn’t normally invite to do something with you and your friends or family. 

Got longer?

  • Arrange a lunch or day out with the friends you haven’t seen for a while.
  • Take the time to get to know your family. Ask them about their past. 
  • Want to expand your social network? Meet people who share your interests.  Having that one thing in common helps break the ice.

 

 

Be active …

exercising is great for your physical health and fitness and it also makes you feel good. Being doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your life.

Got 1 minute?

  • Step outside and walk round your garden or to the end of your road and back.
  • Get up from your desk and go and see a colleague rather than emailing or ringing them.
  • Plank for one minute!

Got an hour?

  • Join your nearest health walk.
  • Go for a bike ride – there are lots of routes and groups in this area.
  • Do a ten minute workout – or do several!
  • Book a free health check and leisure trial at a Wychavon leisure centre.
  • Follow a Couch to 5K running plan.
  • Swap watching TV for getting out in the garden.
  • Dance!

Got longer?

  • Go swimming or join a new exercise class – from yoga to spin, our leisure centres have something to suit everyone.
  • Fit walking into your routine by ditching the car for short journeys and planning longer walks at the weekends – there are plenty of walking routes to chose from.
  • Take advantage of online discounts by visiting websites such as Groupon, Eversave and LivingSocial which offer great deals on fitness activities such as yoga, rock climbing and even sailing lessons.

 

Take notice …

of the world around you and your thoughts and feelings.  Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better. Some people call this awareness ‘mindfulness’.

Got 1 minute?

  • Take notice of how you are feeling at this very moment, watch your thoughts and feel the sensations in the body.
  • Spend a minute thinking about one thing that you’re thankful for. You could make this a daily habit.
  • Try looking at something right now that you see all the time - whatever is in front of you. Look at the detail. See anything you haven’t notice before?

Got an hour?

  • Slow down. Savour the moment, whether you are walking around town, munching breakfast or relaxing with friends.
  • Choose a regular time, such as your journey to work, walking the dog, or lunchtime, to decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.
  • Break your habits, try something new such as sitting in a different seat on the bus or in meetings, going somewhere new for lunch – it can help you notice the world in a new way.
  • If you’ve got an overly busy mind, get outside and talk a walk –pay attention to what’s around you.
  • Pay attention to how your friends or colleagues might be feeling, it will help you realise when you need to be there for them. The more you help them, the more likely they are to realise when you need support too.

Got longer?

  • Training your brain using mindfulness will help you to stay more focused on what is going on around you. Remember, you don’t notice how much you don’t notice until you start noticing the things you have not been noticing!
  • Try yoga or tai-chi can also help with developing awareness of your breathing.

 

Keep learning …

step out of your comfort zone, embrace new experiences, seize opportunities.  Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

Got 1 minute?

  • Learn how to spell a word you always find difficult.
  • Learn a useful phrase in a foreign language.
  • Go online and check out TED for thousands of short, powerful talks delivered by world’s leading thinkers and doers.  Watch a talk on a topic that interests you.

Got an hour?

  • Learn to cook a favourite dish that you’ve never eaten at home. Check out these healthy recipes if you're stuck for ideas.
  • Visit a gallery or museum and learn about a person or period in history that interests you.
  • Take on a new responsibility at work, such as learning to use an IT system or understanding the monthly reports
  • Fix that broken bike or garden gate. Once you’ve done that, how about setting yourself a bigger DIY project? There are lots of free video tutorials online

Got longer?

  • Rediscover an old hobby that challenges you, whether it's making model aeroplanes, writing stories, painting, carpentry, sewing or knitting.
  • Sign up for a course that interests you.  You might learn a new language or how to play a musical instrument or something practical, such as plumbing or car maintenance.
  • Investigate adult learning courses
  • Set yourself a challenge you will enjoy achieving.

 

Give …

your words, your time, your presence to others.  Even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Giving is like gold-dust for our mental wellbeing.

Got 1 minute?

  • Stop to help someone struggling with bags or a pushchair.
  • Be friendly to a shopkeeper and ask them what they are up to at the weekend.
  • Say thank you to someone for something they’ve done for you.

Got an hour?

  • Phone a friend or relative who needs support or company.
  • Ask a colleague how they are and really listen to the answer.
  • Donate something to a charity shop or foodbank.
  • Show your appreciation to someone with a card, a coffee or small gift.
  • Research local volunteering opportunities.

Got longer?

  • Offer to help a friend or relative with DIY or a colleague with a work project.
  • Volunteer in your local community, such as helping out at a local school, care home or charity. 
  • Sign up to a mentoring project, in which you give time and support to someone who will benefit from it.
  • Join Reach Volunteering and find a charity that needs volunteers or trustees with your skills.