Mental Health and Wellbeing

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about... Be kind always.

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5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

Connect

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 instead of sending an email

  • Speak to someone new

  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you

  • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is

  • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.


Be active

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:

  • Take the stairs not the lift

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime

  • Walk into work - perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well

  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work

  • Organise a work sporting activity

  • Have a kick-about in a local park

  • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning

  • Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.

Take notice

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

  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day

  • Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting

  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work

  • Visit a new place for lunch.

Learn

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

  • Sign up for a class

  • Read the news or a book

  • Set up a book club

  • Do a crossword or Sudoku

  • Research something you’ve always wondered about

  • Learn a new word.

Give

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.

 

Mindfulness

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.

Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.

When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted.

How to be more mindful

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.

 

The Benefits of Sleep

NHS approved Every Mind Matters Year 6 Sleep Resources.

During these difficult times, knowing what steps we can take to support our mental wellbeing can help us feel better, sleep better and have better relationships with the people around us.1

Our flexible and accessible NHS approved Every Mind Matters Year 6 Sleep resource was created for teachers, by teachers, to spark discussion among young people about the physical and mental benefits of sleep.

Like all our resources, these lessons support Relationships Education and Health Education. These plans can also be adapted for virtual learning and include support for delivering the lessons in the classroom under social distancing guidelines.

Sign up to the School Zone today and download our wellbeing resources this Children’s Mental Health Week (1st - 7th February).

 

Breathing Exercise for Stress

This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere.

You will get the most benefit if you do it regularly, as part of your daily routine.

You can do it standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor.

Make yourself as comfortable as you can. If you can, loosen any clothes that restrict your breathing.

If you're lying down, place your arms a little bit away from your sides, with the palms up. Let your legs be straight, or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.

If you're sitting, place your arms on the chair arms.

If you're sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you're in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.

  • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.

  • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.

  • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this helpful.

  • Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.

 

How to manage your mental health working from home

Working from home can feel isolating and stressful at the best of times so it's important to take care of yourself.  Click the button to read more and learn about strategies for working from home.