When we talk about our wellbeing, it’s important to note that it’s not just our physical health, but our mental health that we’re referring to as well. Mental health is an oft-neglected part of looking after ourselves, but it’s just as important as eating healthily and getting enough exercise.
Depression is now the leading cause of health problems and disabilities worldwide, with one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem each year. That’s approximately 15 million people in the UK and around 250,000 Everyone Active members and colleagues. Mental health can affect every family, every workplace, and every friendship circle.
So, to help support yourself and those close to you, here are five simple tips to help you increase your wellbeing that were researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation.
How Getting Active will Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. You can workout at home or at your local Everyone Active leisure centre. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting wellbeing.
Here are a few ideas to get more active:
- Take the stairs rather than the lift
- Go for a walk at lunchtime
- Take up cycling
- Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey home or to work
- Attend a group fitness class at your local Everyone Active gym
- Go swimming regularly
- Work out at home
- Go for a run around the block
How to Look After Your Mental Health if You’re Working from Home
More and more people are working from home these days and with the social isolation that comes with that, it can have a detrimental effect on your mental wellbeing. One of the big issues is as simple as not going outside. This results in you breathing in less oxygen, which can have a negative effect on your mental health.
One way to counter this is to have a pot plant in the room where you do most of your work. Through Photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, which helps keep you energised and alert.
You can also try going for a walk when you take a break for lunch, as well as making sure you keep a window open.
How Connecting with People Helps Your Wellbeing
There is strong evidence that feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to good wellbeing.
With this in mind, try to do something different and make a connection:
- Talk to someone instead of sending an email
- Speak to someone new
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
- Go to the gym with a friend you haven’t seen in a while to connect, as well as be active
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your wellbeing and that savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:
- Get a plant for your workspace
- Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
- Visit a new place for lunch
Learn More About Wellbeing Issues
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
Why not learn something new:
- Sign up for a group fitness class you have never done before such as Yoga or Zumba.
- Read the news or a book
- Research something you’ve always wondered about
- Learn a new word
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research into actions for promoting happiness has also shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.