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Invest in Yourself – Five ways to Well Being

August 19th, 2013 by Helen Wakefield

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January can sometimes begin with a general feeling of overindulgence, and a need to “take ourselves in hand” and set the traditional New Year Resolutions. Well let us offer you an alternative – Invest in Yourself and discover the five ways to well-being. Our first newsletter of the New Year shows some examples of these well being strands, so why not have a little read of these and then have a think about what they mean for you as you begin 2013?

CONNECT   with others whether it is at home, work, school or within the local community. Taking the time to develop these relationships can enhance everyday life.

BE ACTIVE ‘Healthy body, healthy mind’ finding something suitable for your level of fitness and most importantly, which you enjoy; anything from trampolining in the garden to walking to work.

TAKE NOTICE of the world around you. Noticing the simple things whilst going about your daily routine, such as a change in season or a piece of artwork and savouring the moment will help put things in perspective and allow you to be more appreciative.

KEEP LEARNING trying something different such as learning a new instrument or language will set a challenge, increasing motivation and confidence.

GIVE by doing something nice for a friend or stranger…buy a big issue, help out in your local community. Putting your efforts towards a good cause can be incredibly rewarding.

The work on well being stems from a new vision of what it means to be prosperous and to flourish which is beginning to take hold in parts of the public, private and voluntary sectors. Work by academics and think tanks shows that, above a level of income (which we in the West generally have) only 7% of our wellbeing comes from income. (Insert in here the read more link) The key things which increase wellbeing are connection to friends, family and community; giving back and volunteering; being physically active; having life goals and continuing to learn; and taking notice and being engaged. These are what the New Economics Foundation think tank calls the “five ways to wellbeing,” and they are now becoming central to UK Government policy. Take a look at this link to give you more information:

http://www.neweconomics.org/projects/five-ways-well-being

As well as numerous speeches on the subject of wellbeing, David Cameron recently called on business “to work on improving quality of life and wellbeing.”

Windmills has recently been working in partnership with Liverpool PCT as part of their Decade of Well Being initiative. Together we have been exploring how local businesses and organisations can develop frameworks and tools to spread the value of the initiative into their organisations to maximise the personal well being of those who attended our sessions as well as taking the learning back to enhance the well being of employees and clients.

The five ways has engaged a cross section of groups in its work from GP’s and other healthcare professionals, mental health commissioners, arts practitioners, faith groups, community and voluntary organisations and local authority departments. Examples of what has been done can be found on the website www.nhsconfed.org

So instead of new year resolutions which are broken before the end of the month how about exploring how you and your organisation can build your own five ways to well-being into your normal daily routine and (according to the statistics) add 7.5 years to your life expectancy! That’s not a bad start to the New Year is it?

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