5 Ways to Mental Wellbeing
Five ways to wellbeing
Research has found that taking action in the following 5 areas can improve positive mental health and wellbeing. Although not intended to be ‘quick fixes’, the suggestions below could help you to nurture your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family.
In school, we will be holding a ‘Way to Wellbeing Week’ in each of the remaining 5 half-terms, with each week focusing on one of the following areas. We will be updating our children’s Wellbeing page on this website regularly with the different activities and strategies that we’ve tried each week so please do keep checking there to see the many ways we aim to nurture wellbeing in school, as well as maybe getting some more ideas for things you can do at home.
1. Connect with other people
Positive, happy, respectful relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can help you to build a sense of belonging, give you an opportunity to share positive experiences, opinions and goals and provide emotional support or allow you to support others with any issues, including mental health.
To connect more with people, you could:
- Try and make time to sit together an eat when everyone is at home
- Arrange a zoom quiz or gathering with close family and friends
- Dig out an old boardgame and have a games night without electronics
- Put aside some time each week to call someone you haven’t checked in with in a while
- Join a social media group that shares an interest of yours
- Write letters to family and friends that you aren’t able to see much of in the current pandemic
2. Be physically active
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness, evidence also shows that it can really improve your mental health and wellbeing by raising your self-esteem and helping you to set goals and feel motivated to achieve them. It also causes chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood.
To become more active, you could:
- Use free websites and apps that offer fitness and exercise guides to follow https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/
- Try GoNoodle with the kids – it’s free to sign up and full of fun videos https://www.gonoodle.com/good-energy-at-home-kids-games-and-videos
- Download some walk and cycle paths and make the most of the wonderful coastline we have on our doorstep – maybe you could turn it into a nature walk or ‘eye-spy’ walk with the children, or download a free music streaming app and just take some time to yourself https://www.visitsouthport.com/things-to-do/walking-cycling
- Check out Sefton’s website https://www.activelifestyles-sefton.co.uk/ or the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/ for advice and guidance of what is available in our community and nationally
- Talk to friends or colleagues about starting a new fitness activity together, even virtually!
3. Learn new skills
Learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing by boosting your confidence and self-esteem, helping you to build a sense of purpose and achievement and possible helping you to connect with others with the same interests.
To begin learning a new skill, you could:
- Try learning to cook something new – there are lots of free recipes online and on social media channels, or you could ask friends and family members to share their favourite recipes.
- Start a new DIY project – Pintrest is a free app that is full of cheap and simple DIY projects for around the home and garden
- Download a free or affordable app to help you start to learn a new language
- Try a brand new hobby such as painting, sewing, starting a jigsaw, writing a short story or starting a blog, vlog, or your own Instagram account to share your interests with others
- Learn more about recycling and reducing the use of plastic and pass on your knowledge to friends and family (and school!)
4. Give to others
Acts of giving and kindness towards others can improve your wellbeing by creating positive feelings and a sense of reward, giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth and helping you connect with people around you. The acts of kindness can be big or small, all that matters is that you feel connected to the act and the person or people it helps. This year, World Kindness Day is on the 13th Novemeber so check out our children’s Wellbeing page to see some ideas for how we will be marking it in school.
To give to others you could:
- Allocate time in your week to check in with someone who lives alone or is struggling
- Offer your skills or advice to someone who needs help with a project
- Share what is working well in your home, with your job or with your children with others that may need support
- Check out your local volunteering service to offer your time to help others https://volunteeringsefton.org.uk/
- Raise money or awareness with your family and close friends for a specific charity or awareness event.
5. Take notice of the present moment (mindfulness)
We can all find it hard to stop in our busy lives and think about what is important to us. But paying more attention to the present moment, which includes your thoughts, feelings and emotions, your own body and your surroundings (both immediate and world-wide) can improve your mental wellbeing. This awareness can be called ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness can help you to stop and appreciate the smaller things in life and make you appreciate what you do have. There are many ways to being practicing mindfulness and connect more with yourself and the world around you, from intricate colouring in, to sitting quietly in your favourite space in the home or garden, to meditating at the start or end of your day. Your children can probably tell you about some of the mindful activities they have tried in school too!
The links below will take you to some helpful websites for both you and your children.