The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based mental health messages aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of everyone. The framework was put together by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and is made up of five key pillars:
- Be active
- Take notice
- Keep learning
The promotion of wellbeing is a core value of The Student Housing Company, so we’ve put together a series of blog posts with tips based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing. In this post, we look at the second of the NEF’s messages: be active.
Be active for good mental health
The second of the NEF’s Five Ways to Wellbeing pillars is all about moving more and feeling better. There are loads of studies which have shown the positive impact physical activity can have, not least reducing rates of depression and anxiety. And the good news is that university offers plenty of chances to get active and stay active - all for the benefit of your mind as well as your body.
Sports and activities
Every university has a long list of different sports teams and societies you can join, so there are ample opportunities for you to get moving and start reaping the benefits. What’s more, being part of a team can also help with one of the other Five Ways to Wellbeing - connecting - you will be strengthening your social skills as well as your physical ones. If you prefer some alone time, walking or running are brilliant ways of getting the blood pumping, flushing out bad vibes and releasing endorphins that will make you feel good.
Dance, dance, dance
Not into sport, but you still need a way to be active? Dancing, even on a night out, is an activity that often goes overlooked, but can be amazing for getting moving and feeling groovy. There’s something special about the release you feel when you’re getting lost in a dance to your favourite tune. You can do it in your room, too, where you can literally dance like no one is watching. Don’t worry if you feel silly at first, the blood and endorphins will soon start pumping. If you are on a night out, though, just be careful what you’re eating and drinking so you don’t negate all of the benefits of a good dance with you know what!
What if I don’t like sports or dancing?
Don’t worry, the ‘be active’ tip is focused on people finding the type and level of physical activity that is right for them. We’ve already mentioned walking, which is enough for some people and has amazing health benefits. Try either to walk 10,000 steps, or fit in a brisk 30-minute walk every day, whatever works best for you. Doing something like volunteering at events can also give you the chance to move about, as well as connect with and help others, which will be really beneficial to your mental health. Being active isn’t necessarily about hitting the gym every day or taking up rugby - it’s about finding the level that’s right for you.
Tips for getting active
Today is a chance for you to get moving. Why not try these?
- Walk to lectures instead of getting the bus
- Have a kickabout or game of frisbee/catch with your flatmates
- Use the stairs instead of the lift for the day
- Do some stretching in your room, or even some yoga if you know the drills
- Blast your favourite song, have a dance and feel those endorphins
With the January blues in full swing, we want to show some extra love. We’re running our own #5WaysToWellbeing competition this month, offering the chance to win the ultimate night in for you and your flat. Click here to find out more!
The Student Housing Company, at the heart of student wellbeing.