Mental Health: 5 Ways to Wellbeing
Tips and tricks to fend off those negative thoughts and feelings
Significant personal and global events can have a life changing and sustained impact on someone’s emotional and mental health.
Today, many of us are fortunate enough to live in a society where it’s no longer out of bounds to talk, ask for help and say “you know what...I’m not ok” when we’re experiencing negative mental health. Health.co.uk reported that 69% of UK adults felt Covid negatively impacted their mental health during the pandemic with the most common effects including anxiety and worry.
To help people navigate this extraordinary time, After The Storm has gathered tips and tricks to fend off the negative thoughts and feelings we can all experience at some point. The 5 Ways to Wellbeing has been developed by the New Economics Foundation and encompasses the 5 most effective tactics to increase resilience.
Through 2020, our society has been isolating for the greater good to beat the pandemic touching each of our lives. The NEF found that connectedness can have a profound impact on mental health as the human race as a naturally social species…yes even introverts! Social relationships help to reduce negative thoughts and behaviours and feed that strength and resilience needed to maintain a healthy mental state.
- Some things to help us connect more could be:
- Make a phone call to a loved one instead of a text or email
- Opt for a video call instead of a phone call whilst working from home. Seeing another person and interacting, even via a screen, can make a huge difference and help you feel more connected”
- Ask “how are you” and mean it! Having a honest conversation with someone about how they are can help to build a deep, emotional connection between you
- Share experiences with others. Take a friend shopping with you, invite a neighbour over for a cuppa, watch the match with a family member. These small seemingly inconsequential interactions can have a huge impact on our mental health
Exercise releases endorphins and promotes the production of serotonin. If you’re looking for a boost, wanted to reduce negative feelings and thoughts 10-15 mins can help boost your “happy hormones” and change your state of mind.
Ways to get more active could include:
- Getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking home
- Walking instead of making that 5 minute drive
- Checking out your local park or neighbourhood
- Join a new class
- Take the stairs in stead of the lift…even if it’s just one floor early
- Have a “walking meeting” – walk and talk with colleagues to increase blood flow and get the creative juices flowing
It’s so easy to walk around with our eyes glued to our phones, tablets or sit in front of the TV these days. Once in a while make time to switch off, digitally detox and reconnect with your environment. Noticing little changes in our surrounding can stimulate the brain to become receptive and engaged as opposed to being on autopilot.
To do this, you could:
- Notice the colour of the leaves changing on your walk to the office or even take a different route
- Swap any artwork for a new piece around the house
- Attack the clutter draw!
- Shake up your daily routine – make a new recipe, sit at a different seat at the table and notice how perspective changes the room
Book yourself onto a new course. Explore that hobby you never got around to picking up. Challenging yourself in new and positive ways can have a fantastic impact on your mental wellbeing and give you a sense of achievement and purpose. Not sure where to start? Try some of these:
- Book yourself onto a new course
- Learn a new language
- Find out more about that neighbour you say hello to but don’t really know much about
- Join a club
- Try to fix something around the house without paying a handy man – YouTube has a video for everything!
Similar to CONNECT, playing a part and giving back to society will release all kinds of positive change within the mind and body. Not only will you connect with others, you’ll contribute to someone else’s happiness and more. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be monetary. There are tons of ways to give!
You could be:
- Pay someone a compliment
- Give your time and volunteer at a local charity
- Got a skill? Offer to do something for someone free of charge
- Donate tinned goods at a local food bank
- Give a friend a lift somewhere they would normally take public transport to
After The Storm was born during Covid but a brain child of founder and creator, Verity Hart , before the pandemic had begun and aims to cut through the noise, helping people find resources they need when navigating personal change.