These are unprecedented times. Taking care of our own health and wellbeing has never been more important.
Airline safety announcements instruct us to place our oxygen masks on ourselves first, before helping those around us for good reason: if we don’t take cake care of ourselves first, we'll be less able to take care of those around us.
How are you taking care of your wellbeing?
Wellbeing relates to how we feel about ourselves and our part in the world. It is affected by our circumstances, lifestyle and our inner resources. High wellbeing means we can engage in positive relationships and activities, have a sense of purpose and cope well with life’s difficulties.
There are many things we can do to build our inner resources, therefore improving our ability to function well, and boosting our overall sense of wellbeing.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are just what we need for such a time as this. This simple framework asks you to take five actions to take steps to care for your wellbeing:
1. BE ACTIVE
Get up; get moving; enjoy a hobby. Activity boosts our mood, builds confidence and protects against cognitive decline. Why not try one of the following ideas to keep active:
- Indoor workouts: There is a whole range of video workouts available online eg Joe Wicks' video workouts . Want something a little gentler? Try a yoga video or chair exercises.
- Outdoor workouts: Couch to 5k is a gentle build-up for budding runners or Active 10 which guides you to complete three ten-minute walks per day.
Connect with other people, through any means of communication. Relationships are the cornerstones of our lives and enhance our sense of belonging, self-worth and life satisfaction.
- Catch-up with loved ones for a walk or a coffee. Make time to reconnect with those you haven't spoken to in a while - pick-up the phone, send a postcard.
- Take a moment to stop and chat to neighbours or someone in the street. A smile a hello can lift someone's day -- and boost ours.
- Join online communities such Our LiveWell Facebook Group: Share how you’re doing. Ask others how they're doing.
3. TAKE NOTICE
Slow down; pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, senses and the world around you. Taking notice helps us to learn about ourselves and feel connected with our world.
- Try Mindfulness: especially if you are looking after dependents or working from home, there’s a chance our minds will whirr away at this time with thoughts, concerns and worries. Mindfulness is exactly what it isn’t: mind-lessness. Try stilling your thoughts through a 10-minute daily meditation using apps such as Headspace, Calm or Insight Timer. You can also find meditations on YouTube.
- Open the window: The simple act of opening the window and taking in deep breaths of fresh air will fill your body and mind with fresh energy.
4. KEEP LEARNING
Challenge your mind; learn a new skill. Learning boosts our self-confidence and broadens our horizons.
- Learn a new language for free using the Duolingo website or app. Pick up that dusty musical instrument stored in the wardrobe.
- Listen to a new podcast or audiobook. Listen to the pilot episode of the LiveWell Lifestyle Podcast.
- Join the library online! If you live, work or study in Dorset you can join the library service online. This gives you access to the Borrow Box App where you can borrow and listen to a whole library of audiobooks from the comfort of your home.
Share with others; do a good deed. Giving activates the brain’s feel-good pathways and gives a sense of connection with our communities.
- Join your local Facebook group or volunteer in your community. Offer to deliver essential items to elderly neighbours, wealk someone's dog, join a litter picking group.
- Look out especially for those who may not be able to ask for help through social media.
- Find out what foodstuffs your local food bank needs and contribute something from your shopping basket when you checkout.
- Look for volunteering opportunities with local charities