What is Take 5 steps to wellbeing?
Take 5 steps to wellbeing can:
⭐️improve your mood
⭐️help you cope when life doesn’t go to plan
⭐️strengthen your relationships
Take 5 activities can be done by everyone. They can be fun, quick and free. You are probably already doing some of them.
Connect with the people around you: family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. They will support and enrich you every day. We connect when we feel able to be ourselves, share our thoughts or feelings, or share a new experience together.
If you are supporting others, balance this with connections which support you.
⭐️Connect with other people: - phone, message, email or text - eat a meal together - join a support group (online or in person)
⭐️Connect with nature, pets or animals
⭐️Connect with your spiritual needs.
(Get connecting Men’s Sheds: Groups for men to learn new skills (like woodwork) and have a chat www.menssheds.ie Support groups and organisations: www.familysupportni.gov.uk Organisations such as the Alzheimer’s Society www.alzheimers.org.uk and Volunteer Now www.volunteernow.co.uk offer lots of opportunities to connect with others)
Go for a walk, run, swim or cycle. Play a game, dance or do some gardening. Being active makes you feel good. Choose an activity that you enjoy, one that suits your mobility and fitness.
⭐️You can do activities in a chair or lying down if needed
⭐️Fit it into your daily routine:
- get off the bus a stop early and walk
- swap the lift for the stairs
- meet a friend for a walk instead of a coffee
- walk the dog or the neighbour’s dog
- walk the children to school whatever the weather
(Get active Exercise guides: Visit www.nhs.uk/fitness for sitting exercises, fitness advice for wheelchair users, physical activity guidelines for children, home exercise videos and much more. Green Gyms: visit www.tcv.org.uk for details of the Green Gym sessions – fun, free outdoor sessions creating green spaces for communities. You can also visit your local council website for information on activities available at your local leisure centre. For information on getting active visit www.choosetolivebetter.com/content/getting-active)
Stop, pause, take a moment to look around you. What can you see, feel, smell, hear or taste? Look for the new, unusual or extraordinary in your everyday life. Think about how that makes you feel. Some people call taking notice ‘mindfulness’.
⭐️Take photos of the seasons changing
⭐️Practice slow breathing
⭐️Try a task you need to focus on, such as crochet or mindful colouring in
⭐️Notice your thoughts and feelings
⭐️Savour the taste of your food
⭐️Before bed ask yourself: What did I do well today? What was good today?
⭐️Beautiful Things Challenge: How many beautiful things can you notice today? (a beautiful sky, a kind stranger, a child’s laugh). Have a competition with family or friends.
(Get noticing The Conservation Volunteers www.tcv.org.uk offer opportunities to get involved in protecting and improving Northern Ireland’s environment. You can also visit your local council website to find information on local parks, walking routes and also information on classes such as Pilates or yoga available through local leisure centres.)
Try something new. Rediscover an old hobby or sign up for a course. Fix a bike, learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Learning new things is fun and will make you more confident.
⭐️Ask someone to teach you how to do something or about a topic which interests you
⭐️Sign up for a local course or class
⭐️Search the internet for information, tips or online courses
⭐️Visit your local library
⭐️Visit a museum/exhibition
⭐️Ask someone a question about themselves
(Keep learning Get learning Men’s Sheds: Groups for men to learn new skills (like woodwork) and have a chat www.menssheds.ie Local library details: www.librariesni.org.uk BBC offer free online adult learning courses including foreign languages, computers, maths, first aid, sports, gardening or food courses www.bbc.co.uk/learning/onlinecourses/ Free informal IT awareness sessions take place in community centres and various venues across Northern Ireland. Visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/go-ni-events for more information. Check out courses available at your local further education college www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/further-education-fe-colleges)
Do something nice for a friend or stranger. Thank someone, smile, volunteer your time or join a community group. Think of other people. Giving is rewarding and connects you with people around you.
⭐️Give a smile, a compliment, encouragement
⭐️Give a hand, for example encourage others to Take 5, arrange activities for children/elderly, help someone get contact details/information from the internet, do activities with them
⭐️Give your time, a silent wish or prayer
⭐️Give thanks, be grateful for the good in your life
⭐️Give yourself the gift of connecting, learning, being active, or noticing
(Get giving Volunteer opportunities: details of a wide range of volunteering opportunities are available through Volunteer Now www.volunteernow.co.uk Foodbanks: Donate food or your time www.trusselltrust.org Donate blood: Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service www.nibts.org You could also join the organ donor register: www.organdonationni.info)
What Take 5 activities will you do?
Choose activities you will enjoy and that can fit into your everyday life.
One activity can count towards more than one step. For example, going for a walk with a friend could count towards connecting, being active and taking notice.
Setting SMART goals can help you start doing new Take 5 activities.
SMART goals are:
⭐️Specific: for example, ‘walk’ rather than ‘get fit’
⭐️Measurable: for example, 30 minutes, 3 times a week
⭐️Achievable: start small and set goals within your reach
⭐️Relevant: choose changes that make sense for you
⭐️Timely: set a start date, such as after lunch every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting this week.
For further information on mental health and wellbeing, visit: https://www.mindingyourhead.info/
Information taking from the Public Health Agency website: https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/take-5-steps-wellbeing-english-and-11-translations