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Five Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Emotional health and well-being is about how you’re feeling and how well you are able to deal with day-to-day challenges.  Evidence suggests there are five steps we can take to improve our mental health and well-being. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

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  Be Active

 

Evidence shows that improvements in your physical health can help improve your mental health. They don’t take up much time and they don’t have to cost anything either.

Try to find an activity that you enjoy such as walking, swimming, cycling or dancing.

It could be something as simple as getting off the bus one stop earlier, using the stairs instead of the lift or kicking a ball around with the grandkids.

 

Here are a few more tips:

  • Take up Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi

  • Download the Couch to 5k app

  • Join a walking group

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime

  • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, in the morning

  • Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing

  • House work is a good calorie burner

  • Dust off your bike and enjoy the north Wales countryside

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift

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  Connect

 

Being around other people can help boost our mood and help us feel connected to the wider world.

 

Putting aside some time to develop relationships with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues can help you feel connected.

Being connected can mean many things to people. As well as meeting up with other people it could also be:

  • Connecting with yourself and having a quiet moment alone

  • Connecting with nature, animals and pets

  • Connecting in a religious or spiritual sense

 

  • Here are a few ideas:

  • Pick up the phone instead of sending an email

  • Speak to someone new

  • Arrange a face to face catch up with a friend

  • Join a club or take up a social activity

  • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them

  • Volunteer in the community or at a local charity shop

  • Run an errand for a neighbour or friend

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  Give

 

Helping others, saying thank you, or just giving someone a smile can help to improve your self-esteem and your emotional health.

They don’t take up much time and they don’t have to cost anything either.

Research shows that carrying out acts of kindness can increase your feeling of personal wellbeing and happiness.

Giving to others and co-operating with them can stimulate the reward areas in the brain, creating positive feelings.

 

Helping and working with others can also give us a sense of purpose and feelings of self-worth.


Giving can take lots of different forms, from small everyday acts to larger longer term commitments.

  • Volunteer in your local community, such as helping out at a local cafe, hospital or care home

  • Sign up to a mentoring project, in which you give time and support to someone who will benefit from it

  • Offer to lend a hand if you see a stranger struggling with bags or a pushchair

  • Offer to help a relative with DIY or a colleague with a work project

  • Say thank you to someone, for something they’ve done for you

  • Phone a relative or friend who needs support or company

  • Ask a colleague how they are and really listen to the answer

  • Arrange a day out for you and a friend or relative

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  Keep Learning

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Learning new skills can boost confidence and give you a sense of achievement.

They don’t take up much time and they don’t have to cost anything either.

This doesn’t have to be in a formal classroom setting or be about getting a qualification or grade.

It could be anything from picking up a book, doing a crossword or researching something you’re curious about.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sign up for a course you’ve been meaning to do at a local night school. You might learn a new language, or try something practical, such as plumbing

  • Take on a new responsibility at work, such as learning to use an IT system or understanding the monthly reports

  • Carry out those repairs that you might have been putting off – maybe fix that broken bike or garden gate

  • Rediscover an old hobby; it could be making model aeroplanes, writing stories, sewing or knitting

  • Visit a gallery or museum and learn about a person or period in history that interests you

  • Learn to cook a favourite dish that you’ve never eaten at home

  • Help out with your children’s homework

  • Learn an instrument

  • Take an online course

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  Take Notice

 

Taking Notice is about making time to appreciate the world around us.

Being aware of the present moment and your own feelings and thoughts, can help you to positively change how you’re feeling about life. This is also known as mindfulness and it can really help you to be calm and more able to deal with what life might throw at you.

It can be as simple as taking five minutes out of your day to appreciate something new or noticing the seasons changing.

Here are a few quick and easy ideas to help take notice of the world, and the people, around you.

  • Get creative and take some photos of the world around you. Focus on capturing what’s in front of you

  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day

  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work

  • Visit a new place for lunch

  • Ask someone how they are feeling and really listen to what they say

  • Explore your local neighbourhood

  • Listen to a new piece of music and think about how it makes you feel

  • Be curious

  • Get a plant for your workspace

  • Take notice of beautiful and unusual things

  • Notice when the seasons change

  • Try meditating

  • Enjoy the moment

Finding out a little more...

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