As the nation’s mental health dominates the headlines as we head out of lockdown, World Wellbeing Week (21 June – 30 June) has never been more apt!
How many of us have the time to really think about how we can positively impact our own wellbeing? We lead busy lives, and often the very last person we think about is ourselves!
Wellbeing comprises two main elements: feeling good and functioning well.
To achieve feeling good and functioning well, there are five actions we can take.
We’ve taken these five actions, applied them to our campaigns and maybe one of these will float your boat? Get involved as we strive for healthier and happier communities.
CONNECT – Feeling close to, and valued by other people is a fundamental human need. Relationships (work, home and friends) are essential for people of all ages. With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
- Talk to someone instead of sending a text
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
This is exactly what we asked orgnisations to do with their colleagues in our Suicide prevention, Check in Campaign.
The Check-In campaign aims to prevent staff suicide and promote a wellbeing culture by normalising the conversation around suicide. The Check-In resources provide tools and training to support building connections with each other over a topic you wouldn’t normally discuss. Suicide and mental health can now be discussed as part of everyday workplace conversation without stigma or judgement.
GIVE – We don’t mean money necessarily! Participation in social and community life is more likely to make you happy. Committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
Step forward Winter Friends…
If this last year has shown us anything, it is how communities can pull together and look after one another in a time of need. Winter Friends campaign highlights the simple, every-day actions that everyone can do to help a friend, family member or neighbour, that can have a big impact on their wellbeing (and on yours!)
Running across Leeds throughout the Winter months, in partnership with Leeds City Council, we encourage people to help their neighbours such as gritting a drive, clearing snow, or just a simple hello every day to someone who lives alone and may experience isolation.
BE ACTIVE – Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. It 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.
You can Join the 20 Minute Movement – a campaign we created for Bradford’s Living Well to encourage people get more active for just 20 minutes a day.
Or, get involved with the Walk it. Ride it campaign in Leeds – a city-wide movement towards healthier, greener travel. Here we’re asking people to make one small change to a weekly journey, to leave the car at home and walk, cycle, or use the bus instead.
TAKE NOTICE Here, it’s about being in the moment. Hearing kids playing, smelling freshly cut grass. When spring has spring and summer turns to autumn. Smelling the roses, or in our case reading the sunflowers!
To help raise awareness of mental health services available from NHS Leeds we “planted” giant sunflowers in six of Leeds’ most popular parks to remind people to look after their mental health. The 1.2-metre flowers all featured the phrase: “Looking after your mind is just as important as your body” and had a QR code that people could use to access the NHS’ webpage with mental health support resources.
KEEP LEARNING Continued learning enhances self-esteem. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.
Recently we helped parents learn about activities that support baby brain development. Take a peek. No one ‘knows’ how to be a parent. But there is much to learn about how babies grow and develop. The Moments that Matter campaign encourages parents to interact with and learn about their babies development.
Our campaigns support healthier, happier communities, one person, making one change at a time, to make a positive difference! Like ripples on a pond.
For information on these or any of our campaigns please email firstname.lastname@example.org