Knowing how to look after ourselves in times of stress or anxiety is very important for our mental wellbeing. Taking steps to take care of our mental health when we’re feeling good can also help us to manage things better when we do find ourselves having a hard time.
The New Economics Foundation, a research organisation that helps to develop policies that benefit people and the planet, came up with five simple ways that we can achieve wellbeing. These steps have been proven to help people feel better.
What are the five ways to wellbeing?
Here are five things you can do to look after your mental wellbeing:
1. Connect with those around you
Socialising with family, friends, and joining people in like-minded groups can enrich your life. Getting out and connecting with the world around you can help you to feel good and support your mental health. Here are some ways you can connect with others:
- Make a point to reach out to friends and family and ask them to do things
- Find people who have similar interests to you and join groups or clubs
- Follow through on any plans you make, and try to reschedule if something comes up
- Try volunteering as a way to give back while meeting new people
- Start conversations with people and be open
2. Try to be active
Exercise is great for our mental health, and getting out into nature has been proven to help us feel better. Being active is just one way you can look after your wellbeing, and you can take it one step at a time.
- Make small changes, like getting off the bus a stop earlier to walk or taking the stairs instead of the lift
- Consider taking up running, jogging, or cycling
- Take a pet for a walk
- Try to fit 30 minutes of exercise into your day
- Consider joining a sports team as a way to connect with others and motivate yourself
3. Take notice and be aware
Taking time to check in with how you’re feeling, and how others around you are feeling, can help to improve your wellbeing. Having an awareness of what’s going on can also help you to deal with any stresses that might come up.
Here are ways you can develop more awareness:
- Try to practice mindfulness, which means being in the present moment
- Find ways to deal with negative thoughts
- Work on positive thinking
- Find ways to relax, with breathing exercises, yoga, or self care
- Use apps like Headspace or CALM to help you to stay mindful
- Keep a diary to write down your thoughts – this can be a good way to notice how you’re feeling
4. Keep learning
Learning new things and developing skills can help to improve your self esteem and give you more confidence. Achieving something also makes us feel good.
Here are some ways you can learn something new:
- Sign up for a class, whether it’s an art class, cooking class, writing class, or some other skill
- Look for resources online, like online courses or YouTube tutorials
- Ask someone you know, like a friend or family member, to teach you something
5. Give back and contribute
Helping other people can make us feel good, and those who are more active in supporting others generally tend to feel better in themselves.
Here are some ways you can contribute:
- Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and help other people
- Offer to help a friend or family member with something you know they may be struggling with
- Ask people if there’s anything you can do to help them, such as a neighbour
Taking time to make small changes can help us to feel better and look after our mental health.