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20 Sep 2021

Five Ways to Mental Well-Being

I’m rather enjoying the fact that I’m writing a piece called Five Ways to Mental Well-Being for clients of FiveWays Financial Planning. It has a certain neatness to it.

Many of you will have heard of eating five fruit and veg a day - a campaign based on World Health Organisation advice to lower risk of serious health problems like heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Less well known is the Foresight report on ‘Mental capital and wellbeing: making the most of ourselves in the 21st century’. It was published at the end of 2008 by the Government Office for Science, off the back of the very successful “5 fruit and veg a day” campaign, identifying the mental well-being equivalents.

Based on an extensive review of the evidence, the five are:

  • Connect – with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.
  • Be Active – go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
  • Take Notice – be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends.
  • Keep Learning – try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you enjoy achieving.
  • Give – do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, as linked to the wider community.

As an event director of the local parkrun (www.parkrun.org.uk) I think parkrun ticks all 5 boxes! Maybe volunteer, walk or run at your nearest event?

Pictured Below: 'Everyday Performance' by Jim Constable and Barry Wyatt – "an entertaining, informative and easy read on how to perform better at what you do!"


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