Ideas for making the most of five ways to wellbeing
There are plenty of easy, free and meaningful things we can do to increase our wellbeing. The Five Ways to Wellbeing gives advice on what we can do every day to make ourselves feel good.
Take time to call a friend or family member. It’s important to stay in touch with others however you do it, and sometimes simply talking about how you feel can make a big difference. If you have a friend or neighbour who may need support or a listening ear, spare some time to talk to them.
- The Rural Coffee Caravan has created social spaces in rural places for people to connect. It also links in with a range of connecting initiatives to support with reducing isolation
- The Befriending Scheme provides friendship and learning opportunities for vulnerable people (16yrs+), including those with learning disabilities, mental health needs, older people, and other isolated groups.
- ActivLives is a local independent charity working in Ipswich and across Suffolk to keep people active, connected and involved with their local community
- There are some great resources for talking to children about Coronavirus, available online
- Men’s Shed – These are community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. The activities are often like those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together. They help reduce loneliness and isolation, but most importantly, they’re fun.
- Suffolk Wellbeing Socials – regular social activities across Suffolk to provide opportunities to expand your social network and catch up with those you’ve met through Wellbeing. This is all about meeting like-minded people and finding out what’s going on in your local area. These aren’t support groups but a chance to meet new people and talk about what you have been up to!
Being physically active can have a real benefit to your mental health. If you are not self-isolating, try building in a walk or other exercise during the day. If you are indoors, take regular screen breaks and stretch at least once every hour.
- Couch to 5k week by week is a free program that takes you from your couch to running a 5K in 9 weeks.
- YouTube allows you to search and access a range of video sessions for activity suitable for all choices, abilities and capabilities Just search for a subject e.g. exercise, beginner’s yoga, Pilates, dance, indoor fitness, chair-based exercise
- Keep Moving Suffolk is a local campaign to keep people active in and around their own homes
- Park Run or Great Run Local are fun ways to get active in fun friendly participation events that normally run weekly. There are five Great Run Locals in Suffolk and 11 Park Runs.
- Look at Active Suffolk for details of sports clubs and physical activity opportunities near you.
There's also plenty of useful advice and home work out videos on the NHS OneYou website.
Take the opportunity to learn a new skill or pick up something you have enjoyed doing before. Always wanted to read that book, or learn that language? Now is the time. With more free classes and courses available online now than ever before, click the links below to find out what you can discover:
- Explore FutureLearn's online courses to continue studying, build professional skills, and connect with experts. FutureLearn have courses in a diverse range of subjects and are always adding more. Courses vary in length. Most are six to ten weeks long but we also have some shorter two and three week courses
- Creative Isolation. With more people socially and physically distancing themselves, March Network have shared some home-based, creative ways to support mental health during these unique and uncertain times
- Learn a new language whether it be something you have just wanted to do or for travelling there are plenty of language to choose from and plenty of places to learn Learn a Language, BBC Languages, Duolingo
- The Open University offer 100’s of FREE online learning courses across a range of subject topics Free courses
- BBC learning offers a range of easy access topics to take part in BBC Bitesize
- Easy Meals using the ‘One You Easy Meal app provides over 150 delicious, easy, healthier recipes in just a tap. Search by mealtime and save shopping lists for later. One You Apps
- You can access many great ebooks and audio books through Suffolk Libraries’ eLibrary services.
With the constant stream of media messages about coronavirus, it is also very easy to feel overwhelmed. Take a break from watching, listening or reading news stories and use the time for the things you enjoy.
- Suffolk Wildlife Trust provides opportunity to access the outdoor environment and a range of activities to do at home to encourage wildlife
- Visit the Visit Suffolk web site to explore our beautiful county. Check out the See & Do, and Explore sections
- Getting outside and looking up at the stars is one of the most underrated activities there is. It’s free, accessible and can be done from anywhere. The beginners guide to Astronomy will assist you to take notice of what is in the night sky above Backyard astronomy
- If you are not self-isolating, go for a daily exercise walk whilst keeping social distances and notice the change of the seasons. Techniques such as mindfulness can be helpful.
Giving your time and energy to others is extremely important, never more so than now, and can pay dividends for your mental wellbeing. Whether it’s looking out for and helping a neighbour, or registering to volunteer to offer support in your community, there is plenty you can do.
- Volunteer Suffolk gives you the opportunity to seek out volunteering opportunities in Suffolk Volunteer Suffolk
- Support a local Good Neighbour Scheme to support those in the community who need a bit of extra help Suffolk good neighbour scheme
- Home But Not Alone is a new Suffolk-focused community service which has been set up to support people who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers, charities, town and parish councils, community and religious groups can all log their details and offers of support on an app, while people who need help can phone to request support.
- Suffolk Say Thanks Campaign - Taking the time to thank someone means a lot; often the small, everyday acts of kindness can make the biggest difference to people’s lives. At this time it has never been more important to show that we care and value others. There are lots of easy ways to get involved, thank someone who is important to you and share some joy.
- Through these unprecedented times food banks have played a huge role in supporting the community and vulnerable people. Every donation to a food bank goes on to help someone else in your community who needs that extra support. You will see drop off points within supermarkets alternatively follow the link to find a food banks that you can support.
Watch the video below for more information:
The telephone number for those in genuine need of help is freephone 0800 876 6926 and will be staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week