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Mental Health & Wellbeing

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Mental health is a big health issue in our society today with the increased pressure of social media and unrealistic expectations. This week, we have chosen to give you 5 simple steps to improving your mental health.

5 simple steps to mental wellbeing

1. Connect with other people

Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:

  • help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
  • give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
  • provide emotional support and allow you to support others

There are lots of things you could do to help build stronger and closer relationships:

Do

  • whenever possible spend more time with family and try arranging a fixed time to eat dinner together
  • organise time out with friends you have not seen for a while
  • try switching off your digital devices and instead, talk or play a game with your children, friends or family
  • have lunch with a colleague
  • visit a friend or family member who needs support or company depending on the level of local restriction in your area due to Covid-19
  • volunteer at a local school, hospital or community group. Find out how to volunteer on the GOV.UK website
  • keep in touch with and family. Video-chat apps like Skype and FaceTime are useful, especially if you live far apart and especially during this pandemic

Don’t

  • do not rely on technology or social media alone to build relationships. It’s easy to get into the habit of only ever texting, messaging or emailing people

2. Be physically active

Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • raising your self-esteem
  • helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
  • causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood

Do

  • find free activities to help you get fit
  • if you have a disability or long-term health condition, find out about getting active with a disability
  • start running with our couch to 5k podcasts
  • find out how to start swimming, cycling or dancing
  • find out about getting started with exercise

Don’t

  • do not feel that you have to spend hours in a gym. It’s best to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your routine.

3. Learn new skills

  • boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
  • helping you to build a sense of purpose
  • helping you to connect with others

Do

  • learn new skills like cooking. Find out about healthy eating and cooking tips
  • try taking on a new responsibility at work, such as mentoring a junior staff member or improving your presentation skills
  • work on a DIY project, such as fixing a broken bike, garden gate or something bigger. There are lots of free video tutorials online
  • try new hobbies that challenge you, such as writing a blog, taking up a new sport or learning to paint

Don’t

  • do not feel you have to learn new qualifications or sit exams if this does not interest you. It’s best to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your life

4. Give to others

Being generous with your time and resources can help improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
  • giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
  • helping you connect with other people

It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.

5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.