Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing

We all have a sense of when we are feeling mentally and physically well. But sometimes we need a gentle nudge to look after ourselves and to stay well. The ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ are about taking action and making conscious and deliberate choices to look after our wellbeing. The ideas that follow are simple evidence based actions that are applicable to people in all walks of life. With one in four people today experiencing mental health distress during their lifetime, there’s never been a better time for you to take responsibility for maintaining good mental health and wellbeing

What are the five ways?

1. Connect
2. Keep Learning
3. Be active
4. Take Notice
5. Give

Click on the headings below to download documents on each category.

  

With the people around you - with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, at home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

If you are a carer or involved in a caring role, you may have lots of contact that relates to supporting others. This can lead to loss of contact opportunities, people and things to support you.

As with all things in life a balance is needed. We should try and seek out ‘positive’ connections to balance time spent with distress.

By making choices and consciously attending to the connections we make, we can become more control of our lives. Take up the driving seat and become committed to living well

Being well connected is associated with increased mental health and wellbeing.


Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

It can be hard to feel motivated to learn all the time, especially if because of our work or other roles we are told we have to learn something specific, whether we are interested or not. If this has been your experience and your interest in learning has been ‘spoiled’, it can be rediscovered.

Learning new skills and practising and refining old ones are keys to both personal and professional growth. It keeps us interested and focused, breaking the monotony of life and opening new possibilities

A life style that includes valuing learning is positively associated with mental health and wellbeing

People who are active have improved mental health and wellbeing. Go for a walk or run. Step outside, cycle, play a game, garden, dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Different people engage in different forms and different levels of activity. Being active is important for both our physical and mental health. Small changes in levels of activity can make a big difference. Just 10 minutes of physical activity has been shown to be beneficial for mental wellbeing.

Sometimes people feel guilty about taking a break from their work/role to do physical activity. It can be seen as wasting valuable time which could be spent doing what needs done.

In actual fact when we take a 5 minute break to positively refresh ourselves, we can end up in a more resourceful state and then use our time more productively.

 
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the seasons as they change. 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.

Most of us are fairly busy. Our mind is active throughout the day. We constantly seem to be doing something. We focus on the next step and the next task in hand.

Mostly we forget to take notice, to be aware and mindful of our surroundings. To take notice is to be in the present, in the here and now and to tune in not only to our bodily sensations, our breathing and our experiences but also to what is going on in our surroundings.

Remember, the value of taking action, doing something. Notice when we are connecting, notice when we are active, notice when we are learning something new. Notice when we are giving. Choose to feel good about the action we are taking.

Taking notice, being aware and mindful is associated with mental health and wellbeing

Do something nice for a friend, or stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself and your happiness as linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Every relationship is one of give and take. The more we give the more we receive. Giving is associated with mental wellbeing.

There is a difference though in giving for the sake of politeness, obligation or duty and giving because your intention is to feel good and make the other person feel good. When you are in the frame of mind in which you feel good in the very act of giving, this is going to enhance your wellbeing and can contribute to the wellbeing of the person whose life you touch.

When you give, give openly and from the heart. There are many opportunities to give in small ways every day

For example

• Giving a smile, a compliment, encouragement

• Giving a hand, giving away to another car

• Giving your time, a silent wish or prayer

• Give yourself the gift of connecting, being active, of noticing

• Give thanks, being grateful for whatever good is happening in your life.

Some people say that they find giving easy but don’t feel as comfortable to receive. This can be especially true when it comes to compliments. Giving is a two way process – you acceptance of what someone else gives is good for them as well as you. By becoming more comfortable with the give and take of everyday life we build ourselves up as well as give opportunities to others. People who enjoy giving and are open to receiving have improved mental health and wellbeing.


View the Take 5 Leaflet below in your language of choice:

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