Tips on maintaining good mental health
The following suggestions have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation, find more information here Together they spell out CLANG
Can you connect with your local community or people who are interested in the same things you are?
Research shows that around a fifth of the population say they are always or often lonely. Loneliness is bad for our health, equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So what can we do about it?
There are many social groups, adult learning, lunch clubs, walking groups and other social activities that are looking for new people to welcome. It might feel daunting but connecting with people is a key part of staying well. To find out what’s available near to you, try looking in your local newsletter, on community notice boards in shops, in your GP surgery or other public spaces.
Think about the people who live near you. Are they lonely? Is there anything you could do to help them make more connections?
If transport is difficult you might be able to use a local Community Car Scheme. You can find out more information about car schemes in Cambridgeshire here
And Norfolk here.
You can find out more about loneliness research from the Campaign to end Loneliness here
Learning will help you feel more confident as well as being fun. Why not try something new, rediscover an old interest, take on a different responsibly at work or sign up for a course? If school wasn’t the best place for you, learning as an adult can be a totally different experience. Use our service directory to find an organisation to help you find the learning that suits you. You can read more about learning in our skills development section here
Being active is about finding a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness. It doesn’t have to cost money or take up much time. Just 20 minutes a day can have considering benefits for your physical and mental health
If that feels daunting, start small and build up. Any exercise is better than none and giving yourself a hard time for what you aren’t doing won’t help with your motivation.
Go for a walk. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. We all know that being active is good for our health, but it doesn’t make it any easier to get out and about. Not having enough money can also feel like a barrier, but you don’t need to join a gym to get active.
Other tips and hints are available at this NHS website for wellbeing
If you have physical disabilities or health problems, make sure you speak to your GP to get advice on safe ways to get active.
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. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
Mindfulness is a way of being present in the moment. It can help with anxiety and depression. There are many resources on line to help with mindfulness including Headspace, which toy can find here where you can learn the basics for free.
Mindfulness could also help with spending. Being aware of what you are spending your money on will help keep track of your spending. Are you buying something because you need it, you want it, or for another reason? You can get tips from the money savings expert website here
Noticing can also be a way of enjoying day to day life without spending money. Time spent in green space is proven to lift your mood, even five minutes can make a significant difference in how you feel. Read more about that here
Give or get involved
Getting involved can be as a formal volunteer, or just by doing something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in.
When we do things for other people, we feel better about ourselves. It can also help you find work. Read more in the work experience and volunteering section of our website
Where else can I go for tips, help and suggestions?
Visit keep your head, a fantastic local resource for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire
In Norfolk, try the Wellbeing website