The 5 steps to wellbeing are fundamental to maintaining your mental health and wellbeing and are even more important during isolation or periods where we are required to exercise social distancing. We have adapted the steps to enable you to promote your wellbeing throughout the coronavirus situation.
There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.
It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
- Talk to someone on the phone instead of sending an email
- Make a video call to a loved one using platforms such as WhatsApp, FaceTime or Skype
- Speak to someone new – maybe join a forum or support group online
- Organise a Zoom video call with friends or family and connect as a group to keep in touch
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.
But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:
- Go for a walk in your local neighbourhood, make sure if you do go out it is within government guidelines on social distancing
- If you are going into work why not take the stairs instead of the lift – try to avoid lifts if possible due to social distancing measures
- Join a YouTube exercise class and take part from you living room with a Smart TV. Joe Wicks – The Body Coach provides YouTube videos for all ages and are proving very popular as a way to keep fit while isolating at home.
- Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning. Even if you are not working or working from home, this is a good way of getting you set up for the day
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:
- Get a plant for your workspace or home – incorporate this in your trip to the shops so you are limiting the time you are out around others. Most supermarkets sell plants
- Appreciate the flowers/plants in your home and garden. Notice the colours the smell and how they feel
- Think about the food you are preparing and eating, note the taste and texture
- Re-familiarise yourself with things around your house. Admire the décor and maybe move some things around a little to create a change
- Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day – sort out those cupboards/drawers you have meaning to get around to doing
- Take notice of how your colleagues or friends are feeling or acting
- Practice yoga or mindfulness
- Take a different route on your journey to or from work – within government guidelines
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.
The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:
- Find out something about your colleagues, friends or family – not face to face at the moment but you could call, FaceTime, text or email
- Loose yourself in a good novel, it’s a great way to exercise the mind while providing a welcome distraction
- Set up an online book club using FaceTime or WhatsApp
- Complete an online course with The Open University and expand your knowledge, they even offer a number of free courses to get you started.
- Do a crossword or Sudoku
- Research something you’ve always wondered about
- Learn a new word
- Ideal time to look up and find out more about what is happening in your community, perhaps think about a college course or joining a social group when things are settled again so you have something to look forward to
- Learn to cook – dig out all those unused cookbooks and get creative in the kitchen
Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
- Give someone that time, make a call to see how a friend or family member is doing
- Can you safely drop some shopping off for someone who is isolating or unable to get out?
- Share your own tips for keeping well, safe and engaged
- Reach out to neighbours who might be isolated and see if you can offer them any help or support
- Donate to charities to help them continue much needed work during the coronavirus outbreak. Interested in donating to Chapter to support our work? Click here to donate today
- Volunteer for charity and help make a difference to your local community. Reach Volunteering promote current volunteer vacancies across the UK. To volunteer with Chapter click here
- Got a skill to share? Why not use a video platform such as YouTube to share your skill with others