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Lots of research has shown that making some changes to the following five areas of your life will have a really positive impact on your mental health. When you’ve had a look at these ideas why not design a wellbeing plan of your own and see how making some small changes can have a really positive impact on how you feel. 


There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.

It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.

With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.

  • Friends
  • Parents or carers
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Neighbours
  • Aunts or Uncles
  • Teachers

Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.

But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.

Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:

  • Walking your dog
  • Walk someone else’s dog for them
  • Walking to and from school
  • Football, rugby, cricket
  • Netball, hockey
  • Running
  • Athletics
  • Dancing – in a class, with your friends or on your own with a DVD
  • Take up yoga
  • Do some housework
  • Cycling
  • Go for a swim
  • WII fit / XBOX Kinect
  • Jogging on the spot while watching the TV

Take notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.

Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.

Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Go for a walk – take a camera and look for the detail in your surroundings
  • Look out for TV programmes that explore the world around us
  • Eat lunch outside
  • Arrange to go on a sightseeing trip with your friends
  • Notice people around you – maybe they are lonely and would really love for you to take the time to say hello


Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.

The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.

Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Learning to play an instrument
  • Learn to cook
  • Reading a book
  • Playing a sport
  • Joining a craft group
  • Drama club
  • Drawing club
  • Mend your bike

Learning new things from people you know, e.g. your grandparents (they might surprise you with what they know!)

Find out your family history.


Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research.

Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.

Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.

For more on the 5 ways of wellbeing click here.

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