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 Social Distancing/Self Isolation

The Five Ways to Wellbeing

At a time where many of us will be self-isolating or following guidance on social distancing, we might be wondering what we can do to manage our wellbeing if we’re stuck at home a lot more than usual, particularly during a time of high stress such as this. Fear not, this blog will help you.

Some of you will have heard of the Five Ways to Wellbeing. These are simple actions split into five categories that all of us can use to boost our wellbeing. It’s a little bit like the Five-a-Day for your mental health and wellbeing! So the Five Ways are:

  • Connect
  • Be Active
  • Take Notice
  • Keep Learning
  • Give

So in terms of connecting with the people around us, this might be a little difficult at the moment if you are social distancing or self isolating. However, in the 21st Century we have so much technology available to us to help us connect with others wherever we are and wherever they are. So maybe we use a video chat service, maybe we text or call each other. Just doing whatever we can to check in with one another and keep those strong social relationships going.

Now if you are somebody who usually goes to the gym to be active, you might find that your gym is closed at the moment, or maybe you’ve made the decision not to go, but there’s still other ways you can be active. Try going for a walk, or maybe do a workout at home. If you’re interested, the NHS website has some excellent gym-free workouts you can try that don’t require specialist equipment: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/gym-free-workouts/

For taking notice, practicing Mindfulness can be helpful, but also practicing gratitude, noticing the good things that happen each day. Maybe keeping a gratitude journal where each day you write down 3 good things that you are grateful for that day. That might seem difficult given the current circumstances, but try and write down anything you can think of, no matter how small or simple.

Now a lot of us are going to find that we have a lot more time on our hands at home, and so we might find it easier to fit in time to keep learning. Maybe we sign up for a course online, or watch a documentary, or just look up something we’ve always wanted to know online. Some people watch the news or read a newspaper to learn, but maybe limit how much time you spend doing this at the moment if you notice that the news causes higher stress levels in you.

Finally, give is all about doing something nice for somebody else. Again, this might seem difficult during social distancing but it is possible. If you are able to stay safe and take the necessary precautions, maybe it’s going shopping or running errands for someone who is self-isolating. However, if we are unable to make that physical contact, we can always give them a ring, drop them a text and let them know we are thinking about them. We can also show kindness to others if we are shopping for example, buying only what we need which in turn allows others to get what they need.

So there you have it, the Five Ways to Wellbeing during self-isolation or social distancing. How are you planning on managing your wellbeing during this difficult period? Maybe set yourself some goals over the next few days and see how you can help yourself, and others, through this time.

Stay safe everyone!

By Bethan Jones

Wellbeing Course Practitioner