The Five Ways to Wellbeing, Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give, (researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation) can help us to find balance, build resilience and boost our mental health and wellbeing......

Connect💗 Strengthening relationships with others and feeling close to, and valued by others, is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to us functioning well in the world. Connection with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Our ability to connect has been hugely impacted by covid and social distancing. We’ve seen all to clearly how much this can impact our mental health, even more reason to keep connected in any way we are able to. Message a friend and let them know you are thinking of them. Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you. Take time to find out how someone really is. Enjoy a socially distanced walk with a friend. Arrange a virtual meet up with those you can’t visit right now.

Be Active💚 Being physically active, improves physical health and is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and promoting well-being. Go for a walk or run, do a spot of gardening. Dance in the kitchen. It doesn’t need to be intense activity for you to feel good, spending a few minutes stretching and moving your body in the morning before breakfast, is a great energising start to the day!

Take Notice💜 Paying more attention to the present moment, to thoughts and feelings and to the world around, boosts our wellbeing. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment. Practice gratitude. Get creative. Take in the sights and sounds all around, those that the mind often tunes out, be aware of what you are feeling. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances our well-being, and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm our life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances self-understanding and allows us to make positive choices based on our own values and motivations. (Taking notice has been one of my favourites during this challenging year. I’ve really embraced this practice when out walking, it’s so simple, yet can make those feelings of overwhelm feel so much smaller and less all consuming, it really lifts my spirits no end 🥰)

Keep Learning💙 Being curious and seeking out new experiences positively stimulates the brain. Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem, boosts confidence, and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Learn a new skill. Read books upon books. Try cooking a new recipe. Learn to play an instrument. Research something you’ve always wondered about. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing, so if you’ve been thinking about signing up for that new class or course, go for it! It’s super good for you!!

Give💛 Carrying out acts of kindness, whether small or large, can increase happiness, life satisfaction and general sense of wellbeing. Do something nice for somebody. Thank someone. Give complements to people. Smile. Tell someone how much you appreciate them. Volunteer your time. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing. 💚💚💚💚💚

Sending care and support to all💗

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