Image shows a white background with a border of green leaves . In the centre of the image is the word Wellbeing which is curved and then underneath it the wood Week.

10 Boosts for your Wellbeing

This World Wellbeing Week, we’re putting on a host of activities for our team members aimed at helping their mental health and wellbeing. We’re also raising (hopefully) a ton of money for the lovely folks over at Douglas Macmillan. But more on that next week…

For now, we’re focused on your wellbeing. The prospect of looking after your own mental health and wellbeing often seems like an enormous task. Not only do we tend to prioritise other things (family, work, housework and other responsibilities…), but the whole idea of wellbeing seems like a minefield few of us have time for.

With that in mind, we wanted to share some small, non-exhaustive ways you can give your own wellbeing a boost, with the motto of “small changes to make a big difference.”

Sleep

Easier said than done we know, but getting a good nights’ sleep is literally the best thing you can do for your wellbeing. Your body repairs itself as you sleep meaning you’ll have more energy, be less likely to fall ill, feel cognitively brighter and feel less affected by stress. That’s just a few of the benefits, but as we said, it’s easier said than done. Worries and pressures can prevent you from relaxing enough to enjoy not just sleep, but quality sleep. The NHS has a number of resources to help you get into good sleeping habits here.

Diet

We don’t mean go on a diet, we mean eating a good varied diet with daily portions of fruit and vegetables, cutting back on fats, sugars, processed food, alcohol and caffeine. A balanced diet is proven to improve energy levels, mood and stability as well as helping you maintain a healthy weight and body. There are some amazing resources and books to help you improve your food intake. Check out Pinch of Nom, The Body Coach, BBC Good Food and Eating Well (among others) or pop “Healthy Recipes” into your social media search engine.

Exercise

It’s recommended that we get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week to maintain our health. As well as reducing the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart attack and chronic illness, exercise produces chemicals called Endorphins which your body then uses to fight stress and pain. If exercise sounds like the worst thing ever, we promise you don’t have to leotard up or join a gym (unless you want to), but think about a daily 20-minute walk, how many times you can leave the car at home and walk to the shops, getting the stairs instead of a lift or simply (and we love this), having a dance in the kitchen. Those little steps will soon add to 150 minutes and we promise you’ll feel the benefits.

Go outside

So, we know that so far 2024 isn’t giving us a great summer (although we’re sure it’s on the way…), but there are so many benefits to being outside, especially around nature that you might not mind a bit of rain. As well as exposing your body to vitamin D, the fresh air and natural light aids your body’s stress levels helping with sleep, relaxation and focus.

Learn new things

Have you ever been on a really good course? With work during your social time where you come back feeling so inspired you just can’t wait to put what you’ve learned into practice? Stimulating your brain and getting really excited about what you’ve learned or taken in isn’t just for those one-off occasions: you can have that feeling all the time; even with work and other commitments. Bite-size learning, finding a new skill or hobby or taking in a podcast that gets your brain fired up will do your wellbeing the very power of good. Check out Prince’s Trust, Open University, and Money-Saving Expert for free, short courses or learning experiences.

Do something creative

Being creative helps reduce your stress and anxiety whilst allowing you to process trauma, anger and other negative emotions. And the best part is that it’s up to you to define your creativity: you could write, draw, paint, do pottery, gardening, craft, knit, crochet, sew, or do something completely different. Set some time aside and play!

Volunteer

Volunteer work not only helps you develop new skills and gain new experiences, but you’ll also have the opportunity to make new friends; and that’s before we’ve discussed the benefits to your own mental health. Volunteering is proven to help your own sense of self-worth and esteem. Again, this is a hugely personal one so it’s up to you to find that thing you care about and then find a way to give something to it. Locally in Stoke-on-Trent, you could help in a charity shop, walk dogs or care for animals in shelters, support a children’s football team, litter pick your local area or raise money. There are thousands of ways to volunteer – but the rush you’ll have from doing so, will have you wanting to do more!

De-clutter

An organised mind is a healthy mind; having a tidy and organised space can make you feel incredible. Studies show that cluttered spaces have a deeply negative effect on the mind and stress levels. Setting aside a little time for a de-clutter will not only have you feeling amazing when you see the results of the good work you’ve done, but living and/or working in a clutter free space allows for free thought and lets you get straight into tasks.

Ditch the screen

Turning off screens (TV, Laptop, Phone, etc.) gives a huge number of benefits including better sleep, more focus on tasks, helping you feel more grounded and present and much more. You might challenge yourself or your family to go screen free for an evening or a day and enjoy time together or you might ditch a social media platform that is no longer a fun experience. How you ditch or reduce your screen time is entirely up to you, but it’s always worth considering.

Laugh

Laughter truly is the best medicine; reducing your stress, improving your mood and making you feel better, whatever life is throwing at you. Sit yourself down for an episode of your favourite comedy, tell a daft joke (why did the cow cross the road? To go to the moo-vies) or go out with your friends for a day or night of belly laughing – the choice is yours, but laughter is the best thing you can do for yourself.

 

We’d love to hear the steps you’re taking for yourself this World Wellbeing Week. Drop us a line at communications@unitas.co.uk

 

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