Looking after your mental health

The five ways to wellbeing are simple things we can do in our everyday lives to look after our emotional wellbeing. The five ways are: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give, and were developed by the New Economics Foundation. 

Connect

Connect with the people around you; family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, or at home, work, school and in your local community. Keep in touch, have a chat online, send an e-mail or text message.

Be active

Go for a walk or run or play a game. Step outside. Nature is good for us – being in green open spaces increases our sense of wellbeing and relaxation. Cycle to the shops. Get muddy in the garden. Have a look online and see what activities are on offer in your area.

Don’t forget to eat well – nutrition is a key part of keeping active and keeping mentally and physically healthy. Exercising can give you a boost and doing it with others can help you to feel connected. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

teen girl tennis

Take notice

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Take time to breathe, unwind: yoga, meditation, listening to music,reading a book – time on your own. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep learning

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Take on a different responsibility at home. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Get creative: draw, compose music, write poetry, act, dance, paint, cook, knit. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things can make you more confident as well as being fun and a chance to connect with other people in your community or at work.

Give

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Look out, as well as in. Volunteer your time. Search on the internet for your local voluntary action service. Look in your library or community centre for ways to get involved. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.