Five Ways to Wellbeing – Tips for Young People: Give
Each week our schools’ mental health practitioners will look at one of the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ (Connect, Be Active, Try Something New, Give and Take Notice). Having a good balance in these five areas of your life has been proven to increase people’s health and happiness. This week we will look at:
“Give” is about doing something nice for another person, this could be a friend, family member or neighbour. Whether it is giving a smile to a passer-by, supporting a cause that matters to you or just helping other people in some way, giving is like gold-dust for our mental wellbeing.
Acts of giving and kindness can be incredibly rewarding. Individuals with a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
As humans, it is important for us to give back in any way we can, whether it is our time, our words or our presence. Carrying out random acts of kindness releases endorphins, which are your body’s feel-good chemicals, both for the person giving and receiving.
So, how can we give back at this time?
- Be considerate – Buy a few extra things if you are able to for foodbanks, to help those who are struggling at this time.
- When shopping take only what you need so there is enough for others.
- Stay connected – Phone an elderly relative or someone you know who is self-isolating.
- Community support – Join your local community group(s).
- Support local businesses – Buy vouchers for future use for local businesses, if you can or feel able to.
- Donation – If you can afford to, donate to charity.
Supporting others in the community who are in need of help, or volunteering, can help you make new friends, keep active and gain new skills. Helping others in your community can make a real difference to your own and someone else’s wellbeing. Despite the impact of Covid-19 and the restrictions that are in place, there are still opportunities to offer help during this difficult time.
Here are a few ideas:
- Consider signing up to the Covid-19 Community Volunteering scheme, which allows you to support others in a way that is as safe as possible and where it matters most.
- If you know your neighbours, why not knock on their doors (but respect social distancing by standing at least 2 metres away if and when they answer) or pop a note through to ask if you can help them in any way?
- Is there someone you know locally who is unwell at the moment or is vulnerable? Try to make contact with them and see if there is a way that you can offer assistance, for example, you could offer to get them some shopping.
Offer a gift to others
What better way to brighten the day or week, especially if someone you know is feeling a bit down at the moment, than treating someone with a gift. With much of the high street closed during this time, we are somewhat restricted with what we can get hold of. However, there are still ways we can find ways to offer a gift. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
… browse online. If you cannot find what you are looking for in the shops, have a look online to see if it is available. You can even have it posted directly to them.
… get creative. Giving does not have to be grand or expensive. What better way to show someone that you are thinking about them by creating a gift with a personal touch, which could be a card, painting or writing them a letter.
Write down a list of acts of kindness you would be prepared to do for a friend or family member. Then create your own vouchers with what you have chosen, which the person can redeem when they choose and offer these as a gift to someone. Some ideas might include:
- Make cups of tea/coffee for the day
- Breakfast in bed
- Wash the car
- 10 minute neck massage
Offer a gift to self
It is important to treat yourself every once in a while. This can help to uplift your spirits, freshen up your routine and can be something to look forward to.
Give yourself 15 minutes to design a two course meal for yourself as a treat. Have a look through any recipe books you may have or online for inspiration. You could maybe try a new recipe. Take into consideration any shortages there may be in the supermarkets, i.e. tinned tomatoes/pasta/flour. Make a list of your ingredients, go shopping and get cooking.
If recipes are not your thing, no worries! Have a wander around the supermarket, and indulge yourself by getting either a scrumptious starter or delicious dessert.
Being there for others
During this time, things can be difficult for people we are living with or close to us. By giving up some of our time, we can really help with supporting each other. It is the small things that count. Here are a few suggestions:
- Help out around the house. Offer to do a chore or clean up.
- Ask your friends and family members how they are and take time to really listen to their answer.
- Do you know of someone who is struggling with something? Lend your ear and then help them take action.
We sometimes forget to tell those around us how much we care, appreciate and love them. Show appreciation for someone publicly or privately.
Write down a list of three people who you really appreciate. Then either speak to them, write to them or post on social media the reasons for your appreciation.
To download the leaflet version of this information please click here.