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Five ways to wellbeing

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Introduction 

During challenging times, it’s really important we look after ourselves and those around us. 

This includes our physical health and just as importantly, our mental wellbeing. Good mental wellbeing helps us to maintain our physical health and to make the most from life. During times such as we now in there are additional worries and concerns that can affect our mental health and many of the things that we each enjoy doing that are good for our mental wellbeing cannot be done in the same way. It is important that we take time to do things that are good for our mental wellbeing, below are some suggestions.

Five ways to wellbeing is a way of making sure our minds and bodies remain healthy while we stay safe. 

These are: 

  1. Keep learning 
  2. Connect 
  3. Give 
  4. Be active 
  5. Take notice 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are not new, you may have heard of them before – or you may find that you do them without ever having heard of them being called this. However, the way in which can do them has changed so we must look for new ways. Fortunately there are lots of easy and free ways to still benefit from the Five Ways to Wellbeing from within your home.

Learning new skills, or rediscovering an old one, can make us feel more confident as well as be enjoyable. You could get creative with things you may have in your cupboards such as paints or knitting needles – it could be as simple as taking time to complete a crossword or word search, anything that encourages you to take time out and use your mind.

You can find lots of ideas on the council’s things to do webpage such as photography, virtual museum tours and British Sign Language.

You can sign up for a free distance learning course with the Council’s Adult Education and Community Learning service. From Principles of Business Administration to Understanding Nutrition and Health, there is something for everyone. You can find them on the Adult Education and Community Learning webpage.

North Lincolnshire Council’s Library service has a huge range of digital services such as free online magazines and e-books, you can find them on the council’s Library service webpages.

A range of free online course is available at The Open University  website which may be a great way to find out if you want to further your study in the future.

There are lots of free videos on YouTube that you can access to learn a hobby such as knitting, crochet or embroidery, just type in the search bar what you are looking for.

Many on-line arts and cultural organisations are placing their collections on-line and nature and natural history videos are available to re-connect with environments that may not be accessible on our doorstep:

  • BBC Culture in Quarantine – Creative activities, streaming of performances, poetry, ballet, music, film, art and crafts, cultural collections
  • Google Arts and Culture – Hidden Worlds and National Parks Digital Tours – The digital exhibit features five national parks, including Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, and Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.
  • Natural History Museum uk – Crafts and Activities online and Educational resources Including 360 – Nature walks, trails, fossil hunting sessions and panoramas of the world
  • National Museum of Natural History (USA) – Virtual tours of current exhibition collections
  • Edinburgh Zoo have live webcam footage of various enclosures to include the Penguins, Panda, Tiger, Koala and Rockhopper Penguin cams
  • The British Museum has virtual tour videos and audio descriptions of their artefacts connecting you to their Museums of the World collection looking at history of continents of the world.

Make an extra effort to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues at a time when we are not able to see each other in the same ways.

Making use of technology by regularly video calling or messaging can make you feel less isolated and stay safe.
There are lots of free apps and website you can use such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom. These can be done if you have a smart phone, tablet or laptop with a webcam and many network providers are removing data usage restrictions.

Or you can simply pick up the phone and chat to keep in contact during this difficult time.

Health Watch North Lincolnshire have launched a telephone buddy system to help those most isolated. They are looking for people to receive calls and to enable others to keep in regular contact with someone. Volunteer to be a telephone buddy by completing this form.

Doing something nice for a friend, a neighbour or a family member can make you feel great. Just saying thank you and volunteering your time can be incredibly rewarding. 

The council have launched a volunteering page on their website where you can find lots of local and national opportunities to help other people, particularly those who are most vulnerable. 

From telephone buddy services to delivering shopping and prescriptions, there are lots of ways you can #DoOneThingNL.  Sharing it on social media can make you feel re-connected with your community.  

Being active and getting out in the fresh air is proven to support our wellbeing.  The national guidelines include being able to go outside once a day to exercise alone. If exercising outside please follow the strict social distancing guidelines and remember to stay close to your own home. Check out Living Streets advice for Walking the Right Way during the coronavirus outbreak and carrying out our daily exercise responsibly.  

Running, cycling and walking are great ways of keeping your body moving. If you are unable to leave your home there are lots of free indoor exercises online for all ages and abilities, a huge range can be found on Youtube.

You can find lots of ideas on the council’s things to do webpage from dance workouts to yoga, there is something for everyone.

Sport England’s #Stayinworkout information has whole range of accessible on-line workouts to do in your own home with links to Les Mills, FiiT, Nike Training Club, Exercise for adults, kids and older adults and many being free, including exercise routines, low intensity options, core strength, yoga and Pilates and meditation options to explore.

This Girl Can website has some specific exercises you can do in your own home.

Joe Wicks has started some free exercise routines on his Youtube channel for those less mobile and also his daily PE routines. More details can be found here Part 1 and Part 2.

Couch25k – Podcasts for beginners and those wishing to maintain, may be useful as support by music and coach to help you feel like you’re exercising with someone.

10 today have various 10 minute exercise videos, live streams and a social network to access. Just 10 minutes of physical activity a day can benefit your physical and mental health. 10 Today is a short, enjoyable and easy routine.

The British Heart Foundation have some advice for exercising at home and it is easy and free, and still helps to control your weight and blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as many cancers. Exercising at home doesn’t have to take much extra time. Maybe do 10 minutes in the morning and then 10 minutes in the afternoon.

Taking notice means taking the time to pause to see the beauty around us, when on daily exercise this could be taking notice of nature, flowers, birdsong; it could be taking notice of the messages of support that people have displayed in their windows, or taking notice of other people that we see. Instead of rushing by, take the time to look and realise what you see.

Some of the support we rely on may have changed at the moment and it’s important we take notice of our own wellbeing to make sure we stay well.  It is important to remember that there is still support available to people who need it. 

If you are feeling anxious about Coronavirus, stick to credible news sources. You can find the latest updates in North Lincolnshire at the council Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage. 

NHS Online has the latest advice on how to protect yourself at this time, how to self-isolate, and what the symptoms of Coronavirus are. 

Scunthorpe and District Mind have a website which you can check for the latest updates.  They are providing one to one appointments by telephone, and people can still call them and self-refer.  You can call 01724 279 500 and they will arrange an initial telephone assessment. 

Scunthorpe Samaritans have trained volunteers who are available to listen 24 hours a day seven days a week.  You can call 116123 for free or email jo@samaritans.org 

Doctors of the World are sharing coronavirus advice in 36 languages – produced in partnership with the British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice.

Public Health England have released lots of useful information on mental health and emotional wellbeing at this time, you can find it on the Public Health England website. 

The Recovery College have released on line courses for adults, young people and children to help them cope during shielding and self-isolation.  You can find them on the Recovery College website. 

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. Visit the Every Mind Matters website for expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Rooted in mindfulness and involved in taking notice of your thoughts, feelings and acknowledgment of every-day activities visit the NHS Mindfulness webpage with further links to on-line courses and breathing / meditation sessions.

There are lots of resources to help you speak to your children about Coronavirus, particularly if they are feeling anxious. 

North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group have launched free on line support, Kooth, to help young people with their emotional wellbeing at this time.  Access the Kooth website for more information.

Young Minds have resources, information and contacts to help manage children and young people’s emotional well-being during self-isolation and social distancing.  You can find them on the Young Minds website. 

There is guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people during Coronavirus on the Public Health England website. 

The Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHS) have brought together lots of information for young people, carers and professionals to help support mental health and well-being. Visit the CAHMS Resourses website for more information.

There are lots of books for children and young people which tackle the difficult subjects of death, bereavement and loss. The Little Parachutes website have many listed and we have put together a list of suggested reading for children and young people which include the death of a parent/grand parent/pet etc