5 steps to greater wellbeing

As life becomes more stressful or a little busier, we can often forget to look after our mental wellbeing.

Evidence shows the following five steps can help improve your mental wellbeing and make you feel healthier, happier and more optimistic, as a result.

1. Connect

Taking time to develop relationships with family, friends, colleagues, or people in your community will give you a sense of belonging as these relationships will support and enrich you. Some suggestions:

Get outdoors. Go for a walk with a friend and greet the people you walk past or attend a community event and take the time to talk to people.

Join a club or community group. Consider joining a local walking group, social sports team, or book club to meet new people.

Hold a gathering with friends and family. Invite people to a picnic or BBQ outdoors in a local park or by the beach.

2. Be active

Being active and moving your body helps you stay fit and healthy, both mentally and physically. There are so many ways that you can be active and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. Some suggestions:

Choose an outdoor activity you enjoy. Go for a walk, run, swim or bike ride.

Play outdoors with the kids. Try kicking the footy or playing a game of cricket in the backyard.

Gardening. Sweeping up leaves, weeding or planting new seeds can also be a great way to stay active.

3. Take notice

Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day, that we forget there can be happiness in the simplest things. Be curious and aware of the world around you and what you are feeling, as reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you. Some suggestions:

Explore. Wander through your garden or a park and notice the different plants and insects; take the time to really notice the colours and textures of what you are seeing.

Practice mindfulness. Our minds often get carried away in thought, so set aside time to observe the present moment as it is. Mindfulness is the practice of returning again and again, to the present moment.

4. Keep learning

Learning new things and challenging your mind will give you a sense of achievement, so it’s important to learn something new regularly. Some suggestions:

Learn something completely new. Sign up for a course, learn a new language or learn to play an instrument. This doesn’t have to be expensive – you could start with free online courses and apps.

Develop existing skills. Learn how to cook your favourite food or take up a project to fix or build something, such as a cubby house for the kids.

Rediscover an old interest. Find the time to do something you enjoyed in the past. For example, photography, arts and crafts or reading.

5. Give

Seeing yourself and your happiness linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you. Give what you can. It can be a simple as your time or expertise. Some suggestions:

Do something nice for a friend or stranger. Help a neighbour with some jobs, or volunteer at a local charity or community group.

Help the environment. Join a tree planting day or give your time to caring for the environment – for example, challenging yourself to produce less plastic waste or recycling more.