Five ways to wellbeing

Mental health charity Mind is endorsing the Five Ways to Wellbeing, steps which were researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation. They outline five ways everyone, no matter a person’s age or situation, can ensure they are looking after themselves mentally.

1. Connect with others

Connecting with others Building and maintaining constructive relationships with people is an important part of wellbeing. Spending time around positive and supportive people means you are more likely to feel better about yourself, be more confident and feel able to face difficult times.

In return, if you are caring and supportive to other people, you are more likely to get a positive response from them. With these things in mind, why not try to do something different today and make a connection, such as:

  • talk to someone instead of sending an email or text
  • speak to someone new
  • give a colleague a lift to work or walk or catch the bus with someone to school.

If you’re feeling isolated - perhaps you’re a parent with young children or have recently moved jobs, school or to a new area - staying in contact with friends and family may help, even if it’s just for a short catch up.

Technology is useful when distance or mobility is an issue, as there are so many ways to stay in touch – phone or Skype, email and social media sites, such as Facebook, are all great ways to stay connected. If you’re not online at home, you could book time for internet access at your local library.

If you’re interested in meeting new people, the Slough Befriending Service offers support face-to-face or by phone to anyone living in Slough. The service also helps to link people in to activities in the community.

If English is not your first language, Building Futures Together (BFT) runs a free, multilingual telephone befriending service. Support is available in the following languages: English, Punjabi, Urdu, Polish, Arabic, French, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Sinhalese, Patois, Spanish and Portuguese. For information, call 01753 555650 or email bftenquiry@gmail.com

2. Get active

Not Alone being active image Regular exercise can lift your mood and increase your energy levels. Physical activity is also associated with lowering rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

It doesn’t need to be particularly strenuous or sporty for you to feel good either. Slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions, as well providing some form of exercise.

Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:

  • take the stairs, rather than the lift
  • go for a walk at lunchtime
  • walk to work or school - perhaps with a friend – so you can ‘connect’ with someone as well
  • get off the bus one stop earlier than usual, and walk the final part of your journey to school or work
  • organise a work or school sporting activity
  • have a kick about in a local park
  • do some easy exercise, like stretching, before you leave the house
  • walk to someone’s desk, instead of calling or emailing.

The Active Slough programme offers a wide range of activities for all ages to choose from, many of which are free. Or find out about joining one of our state-of-the-art leisure centres.

If you’re a lover of the outdoors, why not visit one of our parks and green open spaces? Stretching over 254 hectares across Slough, there are a range of sports fields, play areas, riverside walks, woodlands, gardens and natural landscapes and more to enjoy.

3. Take notice

Not Alone take notice image Take time during your day to enjoy the moment. Whether it’s pausing for a tea break or talking to a friend, it’s really important to be aware of the world around you and reflect on what you’re feeling.

Taking a moment for yourself can help you appreciate what’s going on around you. This is very important as sometimes we are so busy working, studying or getting things done, we forget to take some time for ourselves and enjoy the now.

Here are a few ideas for savouring the moment and the environment around you:

  • get a plant for your workspace or home
  • have a de-clutter day
  • take notice of how your friends and family are feeling or acting
  • take a different route on your journey to or from school or work
  • visit a new place for lunch.

You’ll be surprised how the change of scenery and company may help! If you have transport or mobility issues, find out about Slough Community Transport and Shopmobility.

4. Keep learning

Not Alone keep learning image Setting challenges and learning new things can help improve your confidence and inject some fun into your day. Why not rediscover an old hobby, sign up to a course or take up an instrument?

Here are a few more ideas:

  • find out something about your classmates or colleagues
  • sign up for a class or join a group
  • read the news or a book
  • set up a group for people with shared interests
  • do a crossword or Sudoku
  • research something you’ve always wondered about
  • learn a new word or study a language.

You can see some local activities in the Community Learning and Skills brochure.

5. Give back or volunteer

Not Alone volunteering image Altruism is a wonderful way to look after your wellbeing. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Allow yourself time to recognise how your role gives something back to your community.

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.

Slough Get Involved can help you find volunteering opportunities in your local area. Or try out Good Gym, where you can get fit, make friends and volunteer all at the same time.

Resources

Follow the campaign on Twitter, using the official hashtag #NotAlone.