Mental Health Awareness Week
This week (10-16 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme for this year is about using “the 5 ways to wellbeing” while reconnecting with nature.
The 5 ways to wellbeing are a set of pillars that are essential to our mental health and focus on social connectedness, physical activity, awareness, learning and giving.
Social connectedness: This is all about connecting with people and feeling understood. Speak to people in your life such as friends, family members, colleagues or neighbours. Grow your social circle, this could be at work or in the community.
Physical activity: Being active is known to improve our mental health, this doesn’t mean you have to spend every day down the gym trying to get incredibly fit. You could go for a walk, a run, dance in your living room to your favourite songs, you could even dance to our Mental Health Week playlist on Spotify. Find an activity that you enjoy, being active release feel-good hormones.
Awareness: This is about being in the moment and taking stock of your surroundings. Being in a state of mindfulness has been shown to improve mental health. Being in the moment and being mindful allows us to take pleasure from simple things.
Learning: Learning new things is great for your brain and can release those feel-good hormones from the satisfaction of learning something new. Try learning about something new or rediscover an old interest, it will help grow your confidence as well as widen your skillset.
Giving: This includes a range of things from donating money or showing goodwill to donating our time. Giving is proven to make us feel good. Giving can also help to build those connections in the community as well as social circles. Do something nice for a friend or a stranger, or volunteer to support a course close to your heart.
As this year’s theme is reconnecting with nature, think about how you can follow these steps while connecting with the amazing world around you. Why not join a walking group for example, this will expand your connections in the community, give you some physical activity that is not strenuous and explore the lovely parks we have. You could even volunteer to support the walking group.
You could become a volunteer with us at Healthwatch, with access to training, new opportunities, meeting new people and we hold the occasional social activity with our volunteers such as coffee mornings and quizzes. Click here to find out more.
For tips on how you can reconnect with nature click here.
For more information about the 5 ways to wellbeing and for ideas of how you can incorporate them in to everyday life, visit Mental Health UK. Click here for more.
Remember that if you feel you may need support with your mental health, there are people and services you can reach out to. We have a list of services you can connect with here.