What we’ve learnt over the last 2 years as part of the Covid-19 pandemic is, “our health is our wealth” so what can you do to make sure you lead a healthy, happy and wealthy life?
Foresight’s ‘Mental capital and wellbeing’ project considered how to improve everyone’s mental capital and mental wellbeing through life.
Evidence suggests that a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and also help people to flourish. This document, produced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Foresight, sets out 5 actions to improve personal wellbeing:
There is strong evidence that indicates feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need. These feelings contribute to functioning well.
It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing. When these relationships are healthy and positive, our mental health improves as we have positive thoughts that make us feel good about the person we are and the value we bring to the world.
Now, knowing what you know, what could you do different today to make a connection?
• Phone a friend rather than sending a text or email
•Smile at someone in the street
•Speak to someone new and find out what interests you share the same or different
•Attend virtual or face to face networking events to build personal & professional relationships
•Share a journey with someone
•Take 5 minutes out of your day and be present, truly listening to the person you are talking to
During the pandemic some of the activities we may have done frequently or taken for granted were temporarily put on hold as we were encouraged to stay at home and only exercise once per day. With gyms, swimming pools, activity centres and sports arenas closed we had to make choices over how we could still be active in our homes.
Some businesses moved activities online very quickly and parents will remember Joe Wicks completing morning workout routines for children and parents.
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups and exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.
Exercise doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Here are some ideas and local groups you could explore.
•John Cannon of Cannon Events organise running and walking events, check out their website https://cannonevents.co.uk. There are also parkrun events within the local area
•Yoga, there are many different options with different venues across Chesterfield
•Cycle around some fabulous local parks from Queens Park, Poolsbrook Park, Ringwood Park, Holmebrook Valley Country Park or even along the banks of the Chesterfield Canal
•Swimming have different classes to suit all at Queens Park, The Arc at Clowne, Healthy Living Centre in Staveley
Here are some other ideas on how you could get active
•Walk to work or school rather than taking the bus or car – By walking with a friend you could connect at the same time
•Get off the bus one stop earlier than you normally would
•Take the stairs not the lift
•Go for a walk at lunchtime, early morning and see the sun rise or early evening to see the sun set
•Have a kick about in one of the local parks
We all lead such busy lives and every now and again, it’s good to just stop and take a few moments to notice what and who we are surrounded with.
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
Here are a few ideas to try
•When you open the curtains first thing in a morning look at all the different colours in the sky, listen to the noise in the neighbourhood and feel how warm or cold it is when you open a window
•Take a different route on your daily journey which may be longer and can increase your physical activity and if you’re with a friend or colleague, you can even connect.
•Look at the different flowers and colours of the leaves in the garden and on trees during your walks as you experience the different seasons
•Have a ‘clear the clutter day’
•Take notice how your family, friends and work colleagues are behaving. This will give you a good indication as to how they are feeling.
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift people out of depression.
The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
How could you learn and what could you learn?
•Read a book or the newspaper
•Take up a new activity like knitting, crosswords, suduko or baking
•Research something you’ve always been curious about
•Learn a second language
•Find out something new about your friends, family and colleagues. This is a great way to connect too.
All of the people who are associated to Elastic FM Community radio station are all volunteers who give their time and expertise to benefit people in the community.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
What could you do to give and support those less fortunate than yourself or who are lonely and would appreciate those random acts of kindness?
•Send a thank you card with a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates
•Treat someone to an afternoon tea which some people did in the community as part of our Christmas Cheer event
•Listen to children read and support them with their homework, you are also noticing their growth and giving them undivided attention
•Donate to charity and this doesn’t mean money, it can be clothes which you no longer require from having your ‘clear the clutter day’, school uniform which children have outgrown can also be taken into your local school or locations around the area
•A hug and a kiss, one of the best feelings in the world and also connects you to the person
We would love to know what else you would add to the lists, so please feel free to share