The New Economics Foundation (NEF) suggests that there are 5 simple actions that people can take to help improve their mental wellbeing and be kind to their minds. They are:
- connect - build your social relationships and spend time with friends or family
- be active - engage in regular physical activity
- take notice - be mentally ‘present’, and focus on awareness and appreciation
- keep learning - maintain a sense of curiosity and try new things
- give - make a positive contribution to the lives of others.
These actions help us to overcome stress and cope during difficult times.
Read the NEF evidence document.
You could think of the 5 ways to wellbeing as the mental health equivalent of eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Regularly carrying out the 5 actions can support us to keep a happier, healthy mind.
Below are some examples of actions that you can take to be kind to your mind for each of the '5 ways'.
Building social relationships, and connecting face-to-face or virtually with other people, will support and improve the way you feel every day. You could:
- talk to someone new
- make time to have lunch with colleagues and see friends
- connect with others by joining a reader's group at your local library or going to a local meet up.
Exercise, or increasing the amount of physical activity you do, can improve the way you feel.
Simple things like going on a health walk, taking dance classes or swimming can make a huge difference to your wellbeing.
Discover something you enjoy doing like gardening or flying a kite in the park. Lots more ideas can be found on our Get Active page.
It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.
Paying more attention to the present moment, your thoughts, feelings and the world around you can improve your mental wellbeing.
Take a few minutes to slow down. Be in the moment, and be aware of the good things around you and how you are feeling. Some people call this mindfulness or meditation.
Find out more about mindfulness and how to practice it on NHS Choices.
Learning new skills can boost your wellbeing or confidence and help you connect with others.
Try something new, rediscover an old interest or take up a new hobby. Adult education courses are a great way to keep learning. Why not have a look at some of the activities on offer in Medway.
Find an adult education course
Giving is a great way to make a difference to your life and other people's.
Giving your time, support or skills to others is a rewarding way to improve how you feel in yourself. Offer to help someone out, small things can make a big difference to how you feel.
You might want to volunteer in your local community and give your time to others.
More tips for managing your mood
Audio guides to boost your mood
NHS Choices has a range of audio guides to help you boost your mood.
Support with your mental health
You can also:
- visit Support with your mental health for information about local mental health services and support
- download the Unwind with a healthy mind leaflet.