As it is wellbeing week, I thought I would share some tips for finding that sense of ‘wellness’. These tips have come from my research into wellbeing and quality of life. If you have not read it yet, I recommend reading a previous post of mine – ‘what is wellbeing, anyway?’ which highlights the subjective nature of wellbeing.
So, here are my 6 tips:
1: Find something that gives you a sense of calm and peace. This could be a visit to an open space or an activity that takes your mind off the stresses of everyday life. I like to go out for a walk, horse ride, or on my motorbike. For others, it could be something else, a yoga session, knitting, drawing or colouring. It could even be something more radical, like volunteering for a community group or charity.
2: Practice mindfulness. This sounds a bit ‘out there’ for some people, but it is a great way of taking your mind of something in particular which might be troubling you. You can download mindfulness podcasts or tracks to listen to, but a simple method is to talk through what you see. This maximises your experience at that moment.
A brief example: whilst you walk, think about what you see – talk yourself through it out loud if you like.
What’s the point in hiking a mountain and thinking about anything else – other than the view?
It is difficult to ‘switch off’ sometimes. This is why rock climbing is so good – you have to think about where you are putting your hands and feet – you literally cannot think about anything else.
Sometimes trying something new can be good too. Many clients tell me that they have ‘switched off’ from work, or personal problems, when they have been out Nordic Walking with me. They have to focus on what they are doing, and it helps channel the mind in a subconscious way.
3: Acknowledge that there are some things that you can change and some you cannot. If you can change things to make a situation better, do it. If you cannot, change your response to it.
Positivity is a parallel coping strategy. It won’t make the situation better, but it can make you better able to cope with the situation. Albeit, it is sometimes easier said than done.
4: Move. Resist the urge to sit in front of the TV. Research tells us that a 10-minute walk every hour is perfect, but 30 minutes of exercise a day is good too.
5: Get outside for your 30 minutes of exercise a day, or a cup of tea in the garden. Research says 20 minutes a day of natural light is really good for us- it helps us get enough Vitamin D. This doesn’t mean you have to find an open space, walking around a town or city can also give you that sense of wellbeing.
6: Break the cycle. Heard the saying ‘a change is as good as a rest’? It’s true! Take some time to write down things you can do each day or week to help boost your wellbeing.
There are strong links between wellbeing and quality of life. Those with good perceived quality of life are said to live longer and be more independent in later life. Those small steps you may take today could benefit your health in the long term.
Remember – think about what wellbeing is for you, and the things that bring you that sense of wellness. It is not always outside, open spaces, green tea and yoga! For some, it can be something quite different.
Now for me, I need to practice what I preach! I am off for a brew in the garden.
Have a good week!