Five ways to wellbeing
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be active button
keep learning button
give button
be mindful button

Connect

Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. You can meet with others you do not live with (in line with national and local guidance), go for a socially distanced walk with a friend or chat via one of the online apps that bring groups of family and friends together.

Interacting with others helps us to feel connected, supported and part of a bigger picture in which we all play a valuable part.

The quality of these relationships has an effect on our self-esteem and gives us a sense of purpose and being in touch with people who are optimistic and strong can also change your perspective for the better, leaving you feeling positive.

How much time do you have to connect?

Click on a time frame below:
5 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes

Want to make a regular commitment?

Got 5 minutes?

  • Text a friend – people appreciate it when you think of them
  • Discover hints and tips for connecting with others by watching this Every Mind Matters short video
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Got 30 minutes?

  • Pick up the phone to chat to friends or family
  • Plan ahead to meet friends and family safely, and make a date you can look forward to
  • Arrange a group video call via one of the free online platforms such as Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp or Zoom

If you're feeling lonely at the moment, explore tips that can help. Different things work for different people, so try to find what works for you, and seek further support if you feel you need it.

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Got 1 hour?

  • Switch off the TV and have a conversation instead
  • Revive friendships that have fallen by the wayside – the pandemic is a great reason to get back in touch
  • Side by Side (formerly Elefriends) is a supportive online community run by Mind
  • You can also download these online community apps from the NHS; search on the ‘mental health’ filter to find support for teenagers, new mums and more
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Want to make a regular commitment?

  • Help out or volunteer at a community group, event, local school or organisation if you can do this safely Support others who need company or support, such as vulnerable neighbours, those who have been shielding or who live alone.
  • Set up an online support group for your street, neighbours, community or friends via a social media channel such as WhatsApp
  • Keep communicating and know when to ask for help if you are having difficult thoughts and feelings
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Be active

Build activity into your day to boost your mood.

Any activity that gets you moving or enjoying the great outdoors is good for wellbeing including walking, gardening, having a socially distanced kickabout in the park or taking the stairs.

There are mood-boosting benefits to being active as well as health gains.

To make an activity work for you, make sure it’s one you enjoy and break it down into manageable steps, building up over a few weeks or months. Finding an exercise buddy can also be motivating so consider sharing a socially distanced activity with a friend.

How much time do you have to be active?

Click on a time frame below:
5 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes

Want to make a regular commitment?

Got 5 minutes?

  • Download Active 10, an app that helps you to get started and achieve a manageable goal
  • Discover One You which offers a range of ideas to get you moving more
  • Search Walking for Health to find your local walking group – there is new guidance on safely restarting local walks and country parks are open to visitors
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Got 30 minutes?

  • Visit Get Fit for Free for tips to get you started
  • Take a look at Energise Me for tips on how to get active
  • Check out We Are Undefeatable which supports people with long-term health conditions to be active in ways which work for you, especially if you have to self-isolate
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Got 1 hour?

  • Change 4 Life is a family and kids based activity programme to get the whole family moving
  • Discover activities starting locally as leisure centres and gyms open their doors again
  • Get in training for the reopening of your local Park Run – people of all ages and fitness levels joined Park Run for free every Saturday pre-Covid-19 and countries around the world are gradually restarting, according to the easing of restrictions locally
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Want to make a regular commitment?

  • Couch to 5K is an app that helps you to get started and achieve a manageable goal
  • Explore the great outdoors and get active in the beautiful Hampshire countryside
  • Men interested in improving fitness through a regular game of football can register their interest in ManvFat Football in Hampshire – sessions will resume when restrictions allow.
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exercise group

Keep learning

Keep learning to gain self-confidence and a sense of purpose.

Learning adds to your skills and keeps your brain active, increasing your self-confidence and inspiring others.

People who continue to learn after leaving formal education report a greater sense of wellbeing, purpose and self-esteem, and, of course, it brings people who share the same interests together.

Learning can take many forms from simple tasks to ambitious projects, but they can all be rewarding.

How much time do you have to keep learning?

Click on a time frame below:
5 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes

Want to make a regular commitment?

Got 5 minutes?

  • Look up a new recipe or watch a YouTube video to learn how to do something new
  • Check out Open Learn which offers free online learning courses on a variety of topics
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Got 30 minutes?

  • Catch up on a documentary on a subject that interests you
  • Reserve some books from the library to help get a hobby off the ground or make the most of e-books and audio books
  • Brush up your digital and numeracy skills for free with The Skills Toolkit
  • Find out about the work and financial support available during the current pandemic - knowing what the coronavirus outbreak means for you can reduce worry and help you feel more in control
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Got 1 hour?

  • Get started on a new hobby or commit to something you have always wanted to do
  • Listen to a podcast or a TED talk – there are over 3,400 talks to stir your curiosity and there’s bound to be one on a topic that interests you
  • Dip into the free virtual tours offered by museums, galleries and attractions worldwide, including theme parks, zoos and aquariums
  • Explore new career opportunities - the National Careers Service provides free information, advice and guidance to help you move forward with your career
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Want to make a regular commitment?

  • Sign up for an online course and set yourself a learning goal
  • Learn a new language or dust off an old one with a free online course - learning with an online programme such as Duolingo is fun and addictive, with effective bite-sized lessons
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child studying online

Give

Helping others can create positive feelings and boost wellbeing.

Helping others, whether through small acts of kindness or a regular commitment to volunteering, is proven to be good for mental wellbeing. If you have some time on your hands, there are many organisations that depend on volunteers - a regular slot will help you to build your social networks.

This Kindness Matters guide produced by the Mental Health Foundation also includes suggestions that may inspire you.

How much time do you have to give?

Click on a time frame below:
5 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes

Want to make a regular commitment?

Got 5 minutes?

  • Check on an elderly neighbour to make sure they are coping
  • Buy an extra item with your shopping if you can afford to and donate to your local foodbank
  • Show appreciation for someone publicly
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Got 1 hour?

  • Set up a neighbourhood support group
  • Do some shopping for a neighbour who may need support
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Want to make a regular commitment?

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women helping with shopping

Take notice

Being in the present moment can positively change the way you feel about life

Mindfulness is a technique that has been proven to help manage stress and promote wellbeing. Being mindful means taking notice and staying in the present moment, being aware of your body and the physical world around you. This helps you in turn to let go of worries about what has passed or what may happen in the future. It can be a useful tool in developing a positive mindset and dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings, particularly at a time when the pandemic has created uncertainty and disruption.

How much time do you have to be mindful?

Click on a time frame below:
5 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes

Want to make a regular commitment?

Got 5 minutes?

  • Pay more attention to the present moment, your own thoughts and feelings
  • Take the first step to find out about mindfulness
  • Watch this short video on mindful breathing
  • These mental health and wellbeing NHS approved apps and audio guides can help boost your mood. Other mindfulness apps such as Headspace, CALM or Insight Timer are available.
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Got 30 minutes?

  • Find a book or podcast to guide you through mindfulness practices
  • Watch this short mindful breathing exercise video on YouTube from Every Mind Matters
  • Check out Every Mind Matters for expert advice and practical tips on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing including how to deal with stress, manage anxiety and lift your mood.
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Want to make a regular commitment?

  • Find an online community, a group at work or a mindfulness buddy to help motivate you to bring this technique into your life
  • Start or finish your day with ten minutes of mindfulness to help you focus on the present and manage difficult thoughts
  • Consider incorporating yoga or tai-chi into your week to help with mindfulness breathing or try gentle walking to calm a busy mind
  • Whether you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice.
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meditating man
every mind matters logo

There are other steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. Every Mind Matters offers practical tips and expert advice to help you relax more, achieve more and enjoy life more, including tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus, looking after children and young people, mental wellbeing while staying at home and what you can do if you feel lonely.

If you are struggling with your mental health and need help urgently, support is available.

Disclaimer: please note that information, websites, resources and apps are suggestions only and are not endorsed by Hampshire County Council.

Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.

Interacting with others helps us to feel connected, supported and part of a bigger picture in which we all play a valuable part.

Connecting with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and people around us is an important part of mental wellbeing. The quality of these relationships has an effect on our self-esteem and gives us a sense of purpose.

Make time in your day or your week to connect with others, stay in touch, give and receive emotional support and share conversations and experiences. Being around friends or colleagues who are optimistic and strong can also change your perspective for the better, leaving you feeling positive.

Loneliness can have a serious effect on wellbeing for all ages, particularly older people, but advice is available to help you find ways to overcome it.

Look out too for volunteering opportunities which can bring you into contact with community groups, charities and social enterprises who will appreciate your help.

Here are a few ways in which you can connect with others and build stronger relationships:

  • Phone rather than just texting or emailing – the quality of the conversation will be more satisfying
  • Choose direct contact over social media
  • Plan ahead to meet friends and family and make a date to look forward to
  • Switch off the TV and have good conversations instead
  • Help out or volunteer at a community group, event, local school or organisation
  • Support others who need help or company
  • Revive friendships that have fallen by the wayside
  • Keep communicating and know when to ask for help
Build activity into your day to boost your mood.

Any activity that gets you moving or enjoying the great outdoors is good for wellbeing including walking, gardening, having a kickabout in the park or taking the stairs. There are mood-boosting benefits to being active as well as health gains.

In order to make an activity work for you, make sure it’s one you enjoy and break it down into manageable steps, building up over a few weeks or months. Finding an exercise buddy can also be motivating so consider sharing your activity or fitness journey with a friend.

Here are some resources to support you in taking the first steps:

  • Couch to 5K is an app that helps you to get started and achieve a manageable goal
  • Sign up to your local Park Run – here you’ll find people of all ages and fitness levels
  • The Energise Me website has all sort of tips on how to get active
  • Download Active 10, an app to help you to build activity into your day
  • Change 4 Life is a family and kids based activity programme to get the whole family moving
  • Search Walking for Health to find your local walking group
  • Visit Get Fit for Free for tips to get you started
  • Explore the great outdoors and get active in the beautiful Hampshire countryside
Keep learning to gain self-confidence and a sense of purpose.

Learning adds to your skills and keeps your brain active, increasing your self-confidence and inspiring others.

People who continue to learn after leaving formal education report a greater sense of wellbeing, purpose and self-esteem, and, of course, it brings people who share the same interests together.

Learning can take many forms from simple tasks to ambitious projects, but they can all be rewarding. Set yourself a goal. For some it might be tackling a new recipe or undertaking some training at work, for others it could be watching a documentary or rediscovering a hobby.

There are plenty of formal courses too through adult and community learning.

Your local library is full of useful resources and also runs events and classes where you can learn new skills.

strong>Helping others can create positive feelings and boost wellbeing.

Helping others, whether through small acts of kindness or a regular commitment to volunteering, is proven to be good for mental wellbeing.

If you have some time on your hands, there are many organisations that depend on volunteers and a regular slot will help you to build your social networks.

Hampshire County Council’s volunteering opportunities

Other local volunteering opportunities

Being in the present moment can positively change the way you feel about life

Mindfulness is a technique that has been proven to help manage stress and promote wellbeing. Being mindful means staying in the present moment, being aware of your body and the physical world around you. This helps you in turn to let go of worries about what has passed or what may happen in the future. It can be a useful tool in developing a positive mindset and dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings. There are many books and audio resources for developing mindfulness which you can find at your local library.

More about mindfulness