Wellbeing has become a buzzword over the last few years, with many organisations (including us!) encouraging people to take care of their wellbeing, but what does it mean?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines wellbeing as “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”. At The Conservation Volunteers, we see wellbeing as being a much broader concept.
Wellbeing is not ‘one-size fits all’. What brings you happiness might be different from what makes someone else happy.
So, what does wellbeing look like to you?
In 2008, the New Economics Foundation set out ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ to help us to improve our personal wellbeing.
We’ve shared a few ideas below to inspire you to think of ways to improve your wellbeing:
- Call someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Reach out to an old friend, remind them of a time when you both laughed or experienced something new together to brighten their day
- Organise a video call with a group of friends and/or family that you live far away from
- Write a letter to someone – when was the last time you received a handwritten letter?
- Ask yourself ‘what is it I need right now?’ – is it some time off work, a break from routine or just a change of scenery?
- Go for a walk or a bike ride
- Dance – take a break from work and have a dance to your favourite song, it lifts your mood and eases anxiety, and will guarantee to put a smile on your face
- Exercise – join your local Green Gym or try some free online classes if a regular gym is not for you
- Have a garden? Get outside and plant something new, sweep up the leaves or turn it into your own green gym.
- Be curious – explore your local area a bit more, be a tourist at home and see your community through the eyes of someone else
- Notice the change in season
- Pay attention to the present moment – what can you hear, see, smell, touch and taste? Engaging all five senses helps to calm and centre you
- Commute to work? Take a different route tomorrow
- Declutter your home or workspace, it is amazing how much it can clear your mind too
- Find out something new about your colleagues/housemates/family/friends
- Is reading the news bringing you down? Make time to finally finish that book that you’ve been meaning to
- Take a class – either locally or online, learn to cook, to speak a new language, to garden, the possibilities are endless
- Research isn’t just for scientists – if there’s something that you’ve always wondered about, spend an evening researching it and share what you’ve found with your friends
- Learn a new word – try and use it the next day if you can
- Do something good for your community – join a local TCV volunteering group or community group, ask your neighbours if they need help getting their food shopping etc.
- Pay it forward – has someone done something kind for you recently? Return the kindness by paying it forward, do something kind for someone else and spread the good feeling
- Thank someone – have you been meaning to thank someone for a favour they did for you? Take the time to do it now, if they’ve already forgotten about it, it will make their day to know you still appreciate it
- Donate – charities are always appreciative of any donation, no matter how big or small. If you can, why not donate to a local charity today or one that is close to your heart.
Taking care of your wellbeing and mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health.
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