Mental Health Awareness Week: 5 Ways to Wellbeing
For last year’s Mental Health Awareness Week we provided some tips using the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Having a good balance in these five areas of your life has been proven to increase people’s health and happiness.
The theme for last year’s Mental Health Awareness Week was loneliness.
If you are feeling lonely it can be quite stressful and affect your general wellbeing, making it harder to feel better. Are any of the following affecting how you feel?
- Time outdoors
- Physical Activity (more information below)
Our Self-Care and Wellbeing Hub includes lots of information to help with all of these areas. Or read on for more tips to manage your wellbeing…
Connecting with other people is really important for everyone because it helps us:
- Build self-esteem
- Feel like we belong
- Share positive experiences
- Get emotional support when needed
Make new connections
To help you meet new people you could join a class or group based on your hobbies or interests. We offer social and therapeutic gardening sessions for residents of Manchester.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, earn new skills, and grow in confidence, as well as it being a way to help others. Find out about our volunteering opportunities.
Focus on the positives
Sometimes bad or sad things happen that we cannot control or change. These things can make us feel worried or annoyed. To help yourself feel better and more in control, focus on the things you can change. For example, how could you make someone’s day better?
Ask for help
It is okay to not feel okay. Think about the people that you can call if you ever feel lonely or upset. Or perhaps you might like to join one of our Peer Support Groups.
Being active can help you feel good both on the inside and out. It does this by causing chemical changes in your brain, which can help to positively change your mood and can help with:
- Raising your self-esteem
- Setting goals or challenges and achieving them
- Reducing anxiety and stress
Being active does not mean you have to do anything particularly intense. Slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Here are a few ideas:
- Take the stairs not the lift or go for a walk at lunchtime
- Walk into work – perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well
- Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual so you can get walk part way
- Organise a sporting activity or have a kick-about in a local park
- Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, in the morning
‘Take Notice’ is about paying attention (on purpose) to what is going on around you and how you feel, in the present moment.
It is sometimes hard to see how just ‘Taking Notice’ can help us feel happier and healthier. However, taking time to focus on the here and now within this busy, confusing and sometimes scary world we live in can help us:
- Enjoy life and appreciate what we have
- Understand ourselves better
- Stay calm
- Think about how to approach challenges
You can find out more about taking notice and mindfulness, including lots of activities to try here
“Give” is about doing something nice for another person, this could be a friend, family member or neighbour. Giving is like gold dust for our mental wellbeing.
It is also 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. You could make yourself a gift if you are feeling crafty, give yourself a pamper day, learn a new recipe and make yourself a nice meal, or just give yourself time to relax.
Learn New Skills
If your mental health is poor it is very common to feel unmotivated and unable to try new things, or you may be worried that if you start learning something new, you might not be very good at it.
Researchers found that learning new skills makes us happier and healthier by helping to:
- Improve our self-confidence and self-esteem
- Give us sense of purpose
- Connect us with other people
Where to start?
There are so many activities and hobbies out there to for you to try – from photography to football, baking to ballroom dancing!
You might already have a hobby or interest that you enjoy, but there is always room for learning. Could you keep building new skills in your hobby? Or could you pick a completely new hobby to try?
We would love to hear about whether you have used any of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing to support your mental health. Please share your experiences or tips with us on our social media channels.