Improve your wellbeing using the ‘5 ways’

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Wellbeing is a transient state that changes depending on what is going on in your life, your experiences and your perception of those experiences. Having good mental wellbeing means that you feel you have the resilience and ability to cope when times get rough. How do you get to this point? Be aware of how you feel Think back to a time when you felt positive and happy. This does not have to be focused on a specific event, more a period in your life when you felt comfortable, happy and healthy. On paper, briefly describe this time, then finish the following sentences that relate to the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ (download the everywoman workbook, 60 minutes to wellbeing – your personal action plan, for an explanation of what the ‘five ways’ are). 1. I felt connected at this time because ……… 2. I was active at this time because ……… 3. I took notice at this time because ……… 4. I was learning at this time because ……… 5. I was giving at this time because ……… Were you aware of feeling happy at this time? This awareness is an important part of understanding your own wellbeing. What to do now Take a few minutes now to think about how you feel – to be aware. Could your wellbeing improve? Below are suggestions for ways you can improve each of the ‘five ways to wellbeing’. Have a think about each and jot down ideas of what you can change now to improve your current state of wellbeing to get you to the same place as the exercise above. CONNECT – building stronger, broader social connections in your life can increase your feelings of happiness and self-worth.
  • Spend time with those closest to you
  • Speak to someone new
  • Take time to have lunch with a colleague or friend
Question: What does ‘connect’ mean to you? BE ACTIVE – being active can increase your self-esteem, self-control and ability to rise to a challenge. Just changing one feature of your daily routine can make a difference.
  • Walk, run or cycle to work
  • Take up a new sport
  • Take the family on an activity-based holiday
Question: What does ‘being active’ mean to you? TAKE NOTICE – being aware of the moment will help you enjoy the world and understand yourself better.
  • Practice slow breathing exercises a few times a day
  • Savour the taste of your meals
  • Take a five-minute break at work to clear your head
Question: What does ‘taking notice’ mean to you? KEEP LEARNING – learning is not just associated with childhood or being a student. For some, the idea of learning something new can be intimidating. It’s important to view learning in its broadest sense and then any task can give scope for learning.
  • Re-tune the radio and listen to something new
  • Watch an interesting documentary
  • Ask a friend to teach you a practical skill – perhaps teach them one in exchange
Question: What does ‘learning’ mean to you? GIVE – we all ‘give’ to some extent, but it is important to be aware of the feelings associated with this act. It is sometimes easy to associate this with feeling ‘put upon’. Take notice at these times and look at your motives for giving – did you give because you had to, or because you wanted to?
  • Give compliments to those closest to you
  • Tell someone ‘well done’
  • Take some treats into work to share with colleagues
Question: What does ‘giving’ mean to you? The everywoman workbook, 60 minutes to wellbeing – your personal action plan, has a series of exercises to help you assess your wellbeing, and strategies to improve how you feel.  The workbook also includes guidance on creating an action plan for your own strategies moving forward to help not only your wellbeing, but that of those around you.


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