This is the second Feel Fabulous in February blog from the Wellbeing Group. Are you ready for more top tips?
- Another of the Five Ways to Wellbeing is Take Notice. 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.
- How do you feel when you go outside and spend some time in a natural environment? Evidence shows that being in a green outdoors space makes people feel better. Take time to notice the sights and sensations around you –being aware of the sights, the feel of the air, the smells and sounds. Even when it is bitterly cold, fiendishly hot, or lashing with rain, being close to nature and the elements seems to improve our sense of well-being. Being physically active outdoors gives you a ‘double-dose’ of wellbeing. If the countryside is too far away, there is probably a park or garden nearby where you can get your greenspace wellbeing fix. Just wrap up warm against those February gales!
- Keep Learning…Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.
- Learn Something New – learning and achieving new things gives us a great sense of achievement, and we often go to new places and meet new people at the same time. If you work for NHS Tayside the Lifelong Learning Group has put in place a framework for staff lifelong learning, and looks at other ways we can provide access to lifelong learning and personal development for staff. Outside work, you can find many classes and other learning opportunities in Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross. Also local colleges may offer evening classes, or look on line for private classes or workshops in whatever subject or craft interests you.
- Give (or Get Involved)…Do something for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
- If you want to find out about activites, facilities and resources in your local community which can support your wellbeing, and help you to be more involved in your local community, there is information in on the Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Angus Council websites and through ALISS.
- Volunteering is a good way of using your time to support others, learn new skills and meet new people. Find out more from Voluntary Gateway Dundee, Voluntary Action Angus or Voluntary Action Perthshire. Timebanking is a less formal way of community volunteering; bringing people together to help each other out by doing small jobs, favours or tasks. No money changes hands, you add time credit to your account by doing something for someone else, and you ‘pay’ for help you need from the credit in your Timebank account. For information on your nearest Timebank contact the Volunteer Centres above.
- How often have you said “I just don’t have the time.”? Well actually, you have all the time you need. We all have 168 hours a week. It’s one of the few matters in life that are utterly fair and equal. We feel that we don’t have enough time because we’ve made commitments with our time that mean that it is no longer ours to spend as we choose.
A job is like this too – a commitment of future time in return for money. None of this is bad, however it sometimes feels like we’ve sacrificed our freedom. And freedom is important to the human spirit.
Perhaps you could revisit some of your commitments. They may have seemed like a good idea at the time but times have changed. Now, it may be time to renegotiate how you have promised to give your time. Giving your time reluctantly or, even worse, when you’ve come to resent this, rarely leads to a good outcome. Your heart is not in it. And the heart is the powerhouse of motivation and results. Just like a home loan, time commitments can be renegotiated. And sometimes, just sometimes, you can get a better interest rate! If you are feeling stressed at work or in your private life, try the Live Positive toolkit.
- Oxytocin is a hormone which makes people feel calm and sociable. It can be produced as a response to skin contact, which may be one of the reasons a hug from a loved one can be so comforting when we are hurt or upset. We’re not suggesting you start hugging everyone at work, but you could treat yourself to a massage once in a while to boost your feel-good hormones.
- Declutter to de-stress! Clearing out things you no longer need, whether at home or at work, can be a great de-stresser. Creating some order in your surroundings can make your life a little easier, and it really seems to give you some space in your head as well as in your cupboards or on your shelves. So arm yourself with some bin bags and roll your sleeves up! If you are having a clear out, please consider donating your unwanted items to local charity shops.
Let’s hope these 20 top tips keep you feeling fabulous through February and beyond.