Five Ways to Wellbeing
We all know that we should eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables each day to look after our physical health, but are you getting your five a day for your Mental Health?
The five ways to wellbeing are five simple (but not always easy, it takes practise) things you can incorporate into your daily or weekly routine to help improve your mental health and wellbeing.
We are social creatures by nature, and there is strong evidence that feeling connected and valued by our peers and loved ones is a fundamental human need. There will be times of conflict of course, but anything we can do to strengthen our tribe (book suggestion: Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters ) will aid our wellbeing. This can be as simple as making time to chat with no distractions, check in on someone you haven't caught up with for a while, sharing a car journey you might usually take alone and anything else you can think of. It's about consciously making space to interact with your tribe.
You don’t have to be training for the London Marathon to be active. It could be taking the longer walking route home, having a spring clean, taking the stairs, every little counts. Pushing yourself to get moving when you least feel like it can be particularly beneficial for a sense of achievement and control. Using a step counter or a fitbit can be a great motivator.
Love dogs but unable to home one? You can borrow someone’s best friend, a great way to be active, give and connect all in one go - www.borrowmydoggy.com/dog-walking (CONNECT, ACTIVE, GIVE)
Park Runs are uncompetitive (for most, theres always one!) and a good clean fun way to get out in nature, meet local people and be active. There are all fitness levels and ages on most runs (you don’t even have to run you can do a brisk walk) you can choose between 3 - 5k. Find a local Park Run near you www.parkrun.org.uk (CONNECT, ACTIVE)
Learning something new can be great for self esteem and confidence, it also gives us something new to talk about and excersises our brains. It doesn't have to be huge and it doesn't have to cost. This can be as simple as researching a new topic of interest, getting a colleague to show you how to do that job you always avoid, building that flat pack furniture yourself, or get adventurous by learning some new words in a language you have always wanted to try.
Learn something new and connect in one go by enrolling on a community learning course in your area. Most courses are funded and some are available at a small contribution, from Spanish classes to pottery.
See our book suggestions
Even the smallest act can count. Whether it’s a smile, a thank you, or raising awareness for a good cause. Larger acts, such as volunteering can improve your mental wellbeing and help you meet and connect with new people who share your values.
Find volunteering opportunities locally - www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk
It's not all sitting cross legged and humming, being mindful is about taking notice and being present in the moment, and it can be very grounding. You can practise this every day and build in into your daily routine. Brushing your teeth and thinking only of the act rather than planning the evenings dinner in your head is a good place to start as this is something we do every day. Letting your mind off the hook and being present will soon become habit with practice, but it takes time. So don't be dejected if you don't get instant results, keep practising!
Learn more about being mindful and taking notice;
Headspace APP (BE MINDFUL, KEEP LEARNING)
Calm APP (BE MINDFUL, KEEP LEARNING)
We explore the Five Ways to Wellbeing on our MHFA courses