5 ways to wellbeing

man closes his eyes and tilts his head up towards the sky, surrounded by trees
man closes his eyes and tilts his head up towards the sky, surrounded by trees

You know that you should eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, but did you know that there are 5 ways to take care of your mental health each day?

How many have you ticked off today?

Step 1 – Connect

Connecting with others can help us feel close to people, and valued for who we are. Being social means different things for different people – you might prefer being in quieter situations with one other person, or you might like being in big groups. You might like to connect with people online, or you might enjoy phone calls or sending letters.

Here are some ways you could make a connection today:

  • If you feel comfortable, you could try speaking to someone new
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was, and really listen when they tell you
  • Put 5 minutes aside to find out how a colleague is doing
  • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them

Step 2 – Get active

Many people find that physical activity helps them maintain positive mental health.

This doesn’t have to mean running marathons or training every day at the gym. There are lots of different things you can do to be a bit more active.

Studies have shown that getting active can help you sleep better, have happier moods, and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and racing thoughts.

Here are a few ideas for how you can get active today:

  • Take the stairs rather than the lift
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk into work – maybe you could go with a colleague
  • Get off the bus a stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
  • Organise a work sporting activity
  • Have a kick-about in a local park
  • Do some stretches before you leave for work in the morning
  • If you’re in the office, walk over to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing

Step 3 – Take notice

Reminding yourself to take notice can help you to be aware of how you’re feeling. It can help you understand what triggers your feelings of stress or anxiety.

Some studies have shown that savouring ‘the moment’ can also help you to feel more positive about life.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get a plant for your workspace
  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work or school
  • Visit a new place for lunch

Step 4 – Learn

We’re always learning new things – often without realising it. Feeling like you’re learning and developing can boost your self-esteem.

And sometimes, setting goals can help you to feel more productive and more in control of your life.

What can you learn today? Here are a few ideas:

  • Find out something about your colleagues or friends
  • Sign up for a class
  • Read the news or a book
  • Set up a book club
  • Do a crossword or Sudoku
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Learn a new word

Step 5 – Give

There’s been lots of research about the effects of taking part in social and community life. Some studies have shown that people who help others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.

Is there anything you can do today, to be kind or helpful to someone else? You could try:

  • Making a cup of tea for someone
  • Offering to help someone with something they’re stuck on
  • Introducing yourself to a new-starter at work, to help them feel more at ease
  • See if there are volunteering opportunities in your local area. Check out our open opportunities at SEL Mind.

Check out all of our Mental Health Resources and share with friends, family and colleagues.