Mindfulness and staying well
Staying well is easier if you recognise the signs early and learn ways to help you manage. Here you will find information about the five ways to wellbeing and tips about how to be mindful.
The five ways to wellbeing
The five ways to wellbeing are:
- Connect – Talk and listen, be there, feel connected
- Be active – Do what you can, enjoy what you do, move your mood
- Take notice – Remember the simple things that give you joy
- Keep learning – Embrace new experiences, see opportunities, surprise yourself
- Give – Your time, your words, your presence
Connecting with the people around us is a great way to remind ourselves that we’re important and valued by others. Arrange to meet people regularly Reach out to someone Take time to get to know your neighbours
Friendships and relationships
Invest time in developing relationships. During Covid – Online platforms can keep us close to others even when we are far away or unable to meet up.
There are other ways such as writing letters or postcards as well as the pictures we have stuck to our windows to say hi to neighbours and friends. Try adding a couple minutes extra onto a meeting to find out how someone really is.
Staying connected during the Coronavirus:
- For older people go to Age UK – Connecting digital devices
- For young people go to Young Minds – How to stay connected during lockdown
- For LGBT+ people and allies, go to NAViGO’s Inclusion group
Regularly engage in some form of exercise. By being active we can look after our mental and physical health at the same time. You could:
- go for a walk during your lunch break
- walk or cycle to work
- join a gym or local sports club
- have fun (Play a game. Garden. Dance. Discover physical activity you enjoy and once that suits your mobility and fitness)
- go running (Couch to 5K is a guided way to increase how far you run, to give you confidence in your achievements and gradually increase your physical fitness)
Check out what activity is available today on Lincs Inspire .
Tools and support to help you make healthier choices can be found on NHS better health .
Taking notice of our thoughts, emotions and surroundings is a great way to stay present and pay attention to our needs. Take up a mindful hobby, for example knitting. Write down three things you feel grateful for.
Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment. Be aware of the world around you. Reflecting on your experience helps you appreciate what matters around you.
Clear the clutter
In these days when we are not leaving the house as much some of us have spring cleaned – well this does not have to be in Spring – remind yourself of hidden gems you have.
Take notice of the people around you are feeling
Take time to ask how people are before you start a video call meeting. “Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations”
Write a list
2020 has been filled with cancellations and uncertainty of what the future will look like. Take this time to plan for the future what do you really want to do when we can or what do you want to do whilst we can’t. Check out the National Trust 50 things to do . Have you done them all?
Learning new things is a good way to meet new people and boost our self confidence, which in turn improves our mental health and wellbeing.
Try something new. Rediscover an interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food or bake a cake. Learning new things will make you confident and setting ourselves challenges and learning to master them can make us feel amazing.
Finding a new skill
Research something you’ve wondered about – you don’t need to take a course – what are you really interested in that you have never had the time to understand? How a car works or how to change a tyre? What really is going on with the stars? How to fix a blocked toilet? A different language? Sign language? Or simply learn a new word – Susie Dent Twitter
“Vellichor – the magical, distinctive smell of old books”
About friends and colleagues
Keeping in touch with colleagues and friends can be really tricky at the moment – try and get to know them more whilst we can’t see them much. Find something out about your colleagues and friends which you didn’t know.
find out what courses are available to adults on the Grimsby Institute website.
Your own body and your mind
One way is through mindfulness. This is a technique which can help you make a special effort to notice what is happening in the present moment.
When we do things for others it can increase our own wellbeing too.
Volunteering and fundraising are amazing things to do, especially as charities are struggling so much at the moment.
However, that is not for everyone – Instead try to do one kind thing every day, something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone or even send thank you or friendship notes. Smile.
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.
Got a minute? Got an hour? Got longer? Why not volunteer your time and give back.
It can make you more aware, feel calmer and less stressed, it can help you feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings, cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts and be kinder towards yourself. There are different levels of mindfulness and NICE actually recommend against using mindfulness-based treatments for social anxiety as there is evidence that mindfulness might make your symptoms worse rather than better.
This Ted talk on mindfulness helps to explain basic mindfulness “to get a better sense of focus, calm and clarity in your life”.
Mind promote mindfulness on their website, however they also have a number of simple mindfulness exercises which you can do at home and that are not hypnotic mindfulness treatments.
NHS Mood Assessment
Assess your own mood using the NHS mood self assessment .
Mind and Coronavirus
Information about wellbeing during coronavirus can be found on Mind – Coronavirus and your wellbeing .
NHS Mental Wellbeing Audio guide
Listen to a series of mental wellbeing audio guides to help you boost your mood on NHS moodzone .
Relaxation and breathing techniques
Watch this NHS video for tips on relaxation and breathing techniques.
Breath – five minutes can change your life
This Ted Talk explains how five minutes can change your life.