The New Economics Foundation has developed a set of five evidence-based actions for wellbeing that, if practised regularly, can improve personal wellbeing.
There are some things which can incorporate all 5 ways to wellbeing. For instance by taking part in a physical activity you may connect with others in a group or team, notice things to do with the activity, learn new skills and be able to teach others aspects of the activity.
Here we outlined why these thing are important to mental wellbeing and give information about opportunities in Somerset.
Feeling close to, and valued by, people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.
Social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
For example: ask someone how their day is going, spending breaks chatting to colleagues.
Our peer support groups provide opportunities to connect. http://mindtws.org.uk/our-services/peer-support-services/
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting wellbeing.
It doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise. We will explore this more in the next section!
For example: take the stairs not the lift or go for a walk at lunchtime.
The Zing Somerset website has information about opportunities to get active. http://www.zingsomerset.co.uk/
The walking for health groups can help increase activity and connect with others. If you live in Taunton Deane you can find out more at http://www.walkwellwithtone.btck.co.uk/Programmes. Alternatively other walking for health option can be found at https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.
Studies show that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your wellbeing and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. It helps self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
For example: have a ‘clear the clutter’ day or take a different route on your journey to or from work or on your daily walk / run / cycle.
Mindfulness is a practice which can help us take notice. There are many mindfulness groups which you can find if you google mindfulness. There are also apps and downloads available. We like the free downloads available at http://www.freemindfulness.org
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.
The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
For example: learn something new. Read the newspaper or complete a crossword.
More learning opportunities to learn can be found at https://sslcourses.co.uk/
Research shows that giving makes you happier. People with a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
Volunteering can be a great way to give. You can find more opportunities at https://do-it.org/