Looking after yourself

Many people all across the country are now trying to adjust to a new way of life, and are learning to juggle work and parenting, mainly with a far greater respect for the undervalued and overlooked work of childcare and education professionals. Twelve years ago, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) reviewed more than 400 scientific papers to identify key things that contribute to our wellbeing. They developed the Five Ways to Wellbeing, reflecting the familiar ‘five a day’ message for fruit and vegetables, which are aimed at helping people to understand and incorporate wellbeing into their everyday lives.

What the research showed was that each of the ‘Five Ways’ can help to improve mental health and wellbeing and help you to feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

Mental Wellbeing is particularly important and challenging during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance is clear that self-isolating means that we must only socialise face-to-face with those that we are living with and should only be going outside for essential reasons, or for exercise so in theory it is more difficult to meet the aims of the Five Ways. However, revisiting the Five Ways and setting ourselves the challenge of doing at least one of each of these every day will help to keep us all on an even keel. Here are some ways the Five Ways can be interpreted in line with the current social distancing and ‘lockdown’ guidelines.