This week is Mental Health Awareness week, so this blog post is all about wellbeing and looking after yourself. In the last few years more and more people are opening up about their own mental health and in the UK mental health is now starting to be seen as just as important as physical health.

An evidence-based report published by the New Economics Foundation outlines Five Ways to Wellbeing, which are to:

Connect

Be Active

Keep Learning

Give

Take Notice

 

Let’s look at what each of these ways to wellbeing involve:

 

Connect  – Social connection with other people is crucial to our wellbeing. Here are some suggestions to help manage this aspect of our lives:

  • Talk to someone instead of sending a message/email.
  • Try to speak to someone new every day.
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you.
  • Share your journey to school with a classmate
  • Arrange social events/days out with other students

 

Be active – Regular physical activity is not only good for our bodies, it is also associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety.

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime.
  • If taking the bus or train to school, get off at the stop before and walk the last part of the journey.
  • Do some easy exercise, like stretching, before you leave for school in the morning.
  • Join a local gym.
  • Rent one of the city bikes and go for a cycle around Sefton Park and along the River.
  • Get out of the city! Being outside in nature has proven benefits for our wellbeing. See our other blogpost on ‘Wild Wirral’ for ideas https://www.lse.uk.net/wild-wirral/

Keep Learning – of course you are all learning while at LSE! However it’s important to remember that lifelong learning improves self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Why not learn something new today? Here are some ideas:

  • Find out something about other students at LSE or maybe a member of LSE staff (we are always happy to chat!).
  • Set up a reading group/book club
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about.

 

Give – People who have a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Some research indicates that carrying out an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing. Go to Job Club on Thursdays for information on how to look for volunteering opportunities in Liverpool.

 

Take Notice – Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’, or pay attention to whatever you are doing at the present moment, can strengthen and broaden your awareness.

  • Get a plant for your bedroom
  • Have a declutter/tidying up day
  • Take notice of how your classmates are feeling or acting.
  • Take a different route to school.
  • Practice exercises that help to focus your attention on the present moment, like mindfulness meditation or yoga

 

I hope these ideas have given you some food for thought. We’d love to hear your own ideas for wellbeing and looking after yourself. And remember, spending time on your own wellbeing is not selfish, if we are happier then we are better able to help others and make others happier too!