Improve and maintain your mental health by following these five steps to wellbeing.

1. Connect

Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth, give you an opportunity to share positive experiences and provide emotional support, and allow you to support others.

  • spend time with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours – this can be difficult in the current situation but be creative and reach out,
  • talk to someone on the phone instead of sending an email,
  • make a video call to a friend or family member using WhatsApp, FaceTime or Skype,
  • speak to someone new – maybe join a forum or support group online.

2. Be active

Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness, it can also improve your mental wellbeing by raising your self-esteem, helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them, and by causing chemical changes in your brain that can help to positively change your mood

  • step outside and go for a walk or run,
  • take the stairs instead of the lift,
  • do some ‘easy exercise’ like stretching.

3. Keep learning

Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem, helping you to build a sense of purpose and by helping you to connect with others

  • try something new or revisit an old interest
  • complete an online course, or find a YouTube tutorial to help you learn something new or expand you knowledge. The Open University offer free courses to get you started.
  • learn to cook your favourite food
  • sign up for a class.

4. Give

Acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings and a sense of reward, giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth, and by helping you connect with other people

  • do something nice for someone, a friend, family member or a random act of kindness
  • reach out to neighbours who might be isolated and see if you can offer them any help or support
  • donate to charities to help them continue their much needed work during the coronavirus outbreak
  • volunteer in your local community – Reach Volunteering promote current volunteer vacancies across the UK

5. Take notice

Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness mindfulness.

  • get a plant for your workspace or home, a window box or potted plant on a window sill can make you feel more connected to nature – you can pick one up on your trip to the supermarket so you limit the time you are out around others
  • have a ‘clear the clutter’ day – sort out those cupboards/drawers you have been meaning to get around to doing
  • practice yoga or mindfulness.

Sources

For further information please visit the NHS website: 5 steps to mental wellbeing and Chapter Mental Health’s 5 steps to wellbeing during coronavirus outbreak.

You can also access online support from Minddistrict on their digital mental health platform for healthcare providers.