Life has been very strange over the last few months. As a nation we have been asked to stay in our homes and not to carry on with life as normal. This has changed the way we work and live meaning for most of us we are using the online world not only for our wok but also for social outlet as well.

Mental health and wellbeing have become even more key topics and it is important that we look after ourselves to support our future as life eventually returns to normality.

I have been doing a lot of reading about the 5 Ways of Wellbeing through both work and for my own interest. The five pillars were identified as the key things that contribute to our wellbeing. Now at a time when people must stay home and social distance a lot of people are turning to the Five Ways to be able to cope.

What are the 5 Ways of Wellbeing?

Connect – social relationships are essential for promoting wellbeing and even more so with social distancing and not being able to meet with family and friends.

If you would like ideas on how to connect with people in this strange time, please see the case study on connection by Oli Mander (Link needs putting in)

Be active – Exercise is also essential in promoting wellbeing as it releases hormones that support in lowering rates of depression and anxiety. It doesn’t have to be intense getting out for a walk instead of taking the car, walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift, following online work out group on Facebook, YouTube are all ideas that can help.

https://www.activedevon.org/free-online-activity-sessions/

Take notice – Reminding ourselves to take notice of the world around us. Studies have shown that if you are aware of what is happening in the present directly improves our wellbeing and reaffirms our 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, Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day’, Take notice of how your others are feeling or acting, Take a different route on your journey to or from the shops.

Give – Supporting others either through social interaction or community life promotes wellbeing. Research has shown that an act of kindness for six weeks increases the individual’s wellbeing. We have all seen some amazing acts of kindness during the last few months from sewing masks for the NHS to collecting and dropping off prescriptions to those who are unable to.

Learn – Continued learning through life is so important it enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Learning in todays climate is even easier that it used to be. There is so much online learning and a lot of companies have been reducing the cost or making them free.

Here are a few examples:

There are many other training providers that are opening their courses up for people to use online.

Obviously being online all the time isn’t always the best for our wellbeing so you could look at reading a book, baking a cake you haven’t baked before, setting up a club to learn something new from someone else, research something you have always wondered about, doing a crossword or Sudoku and even learning a new word every day.

Our wellbeing is very important, and we need to ensure we are all looking after ourselves during this time.