5 Ways to Wellbeing
Being connected with your life and those around you is one of the five ways to improving your mental health and wellbeing.
In our busy day to day lives it is all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle.
We wake up, hoist ourselves out of bed, and go through the motions of showering, eating breakfast, or maybe grabbing a coffee on the run. As you start the journey into work – perhaps by public transport, in a car or via a short walk, you may catch up on the news on your smart phone, or become frustrated by other cars on the congested road. If you’re walking you may take the same route every day, taking all the short cuts to reach your destination quicker.
Once you get to work, it’s time to get started. For some this means sitting down at a desk for several hours, or attending meetings. For others, it may mean a day of heavy manual labour, serving customers or operating machinery.
No matter what you do for work, before you know it, the working day is over. You make your way home, prepare dinner for yourself and/or family, perhaps watch some television and head to bed to do it all over again.
Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps the above scenario is slightly different to your life, however the general principle remains the same – for the most part we live our lives disconnected from ourselves, others and the world around us.
Now, take the next scenario and think about how different your day could be with some small changes.
Your alarm goes off, you spring out of bed and head to the shower. While you are showering you take the time to feel the warm water trickling over your body, the smell of shampoo and the slippery feel of soap on your skin. You get dressed, prepare a healthy breakfast which you sit down to eat, savouring each mouthful. On your journey into work, you make an effort to smile at the person who makes room for you on the train, or you stand up to allow another to sit down. If you’re driving you may stop to let a driver into the stream of traffic in front of you, while you listen to your favourite music. For those heading to work on foot, you walk with your your head held high, noticing the green of the trees, if there are birds flying above you – perhaps you even decide to mix things up and go a slightly different way.
You get to work and say hello to those you pass on your way to your work station. Before getting set up and into it, you make yourself a hot cup of coffee and chat with a colleague about a movie you saw on the weekend or ask them about their family. During this time you may get to know someone just that little bit better. You work until lunchtime, when you take a short break, perhaps heading outside into the fresh air, popping on your sneakers and going for a brisk walk around the block – or sitting in the tea room, catching up with a colleague. If you’ve only taken 10 minutes, now might be a good chance to call a friend or family member to say hello and update them on what you’ve been up to. In the afternoon you grab a quick cup of tea and return to another couple of hours of productive work.
When you reach home after your days’ work you prepare a meal for yourself and/or family and enjoy it sitting comfortably, savouring each bite as you reflect on your day. You may even have invited a friend over who you haven’t seen in some time. After dinner you read a couple of chapters in a good book, or maybe research your next holiday or volunteer opportunities available in your area. You then do some light stretching in front of the television, relaxing before bed.
Of course you may do these things already, in which case you could try doing them just a little bit more – most of us have room for improvement and will really enjoy the positive feelings these mindful activities generate.
The scenario above is an example of the small changes you can make to incorporate the Five Ways to Wellbeing into your life - check out the areas highlighted to really pinpoint them. These are a set of five activities that individuals can do that are known to increase wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.