These are unprecedented times. Taking care of our own health and wellbeing can be the first thing to slide when we’re focused on taking care of patients, friends, family and loved ones.
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. Join the Five Ways Challenge today to receive tips, ideas and inspiration to LiveWell at this time.
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:
- YouTube Workouts: There is a whole range of video workouts available online. I have recently been trying Joe Wicks' video workouts every morning. Want something a little gentler? Try a yoga video or chair exercises.
- If you are in self-isolation because someone in your household has symptoms, you can still exercise from the comfort of your home. Not only that, but for those that are social distancing but not self-isolating because of symptoms, government guidelines also state that so long as you maintain a safe distance from others, you can go outside to exercise. So, Couch to 5k is still available to you. As is 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.
- Face-to-face is still doable through technology: Use FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp video calls to keep connected. Had a coffee with a friend planned? Switch it for a video call. Not able to currently meet with a loved one? Arrange to chat on FaceTime. It may be different or odd, to begin with, but before you know it – it will become second nature.
- 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: whether you’re in self-isolation, 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: Cooped-up needn’t mean locked-up. 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 community response to coronavirus. If you're not required to self-isolate, offer to deliver essential items to neighbour's doors.
- Put a postcard through the doors of neighbours who may be self-isolating. 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 how you can donate safely. You may be able to contribute something from your shopping basket when you checkout.
The Five Ways Challenge
We’re inviting you to join the Five Ways Challenge as we stand up to the global challenge of coronavirus. Over the following weeks, Five Ways Challenge participants will join together virtually to take care of our wellbeing. Virus or no virus, we can all take steps to improve our wellbeing. Join us.