Posted: 15 January 2018

Five ways to beat the winter blues

Today is ‘Blue Monday’. Popularised by mainstream media and based on factors such as the gloomy weather, post-christmas debt, low motivation and the inevitable New Year Resolution fails, it is considered to be the most depressing day of the year.

Whether or not this is the case - it is a useful reminder at this time of year to check-in and look after your own well-being.

Five ways to well-being

We know from our own research that children with low well-being are more likely to have problems in their lives, particularly with their physical and mental health.

To tackle this, NEF's (New Economic Foundation) ‘five ways to well-being’ provides simple messages to help combat negative thoughts and feelings.

1. Connect

The first way to support your well-being is by connecting with the people around you.

Connect for well-being

In our report, spending time with friends and family was felt by many children as fundamental to their happiness. 

2. Be active

Staying active is especially important at this time of year, but can be tricky with the lack of daylight and the miserable weather.

Research has shown that people’s mood can be improved by single, short bouts of exercise. Exercise doesn’t necessarily need to be vigorous - small changes in your activity levels may lead to improved well-being.

Be active for well-being

3. Take notice

Based on the principle of mindfulness, it is important when thinking about our own well-being to acknowledge how we are feeling in the moment and what is going on around us. Just taking time to be.

Take notice for well-being

4. Be creative

A key factor mentioned by children in our research was related to playing -  doing things for fun, and taking part in creative pursuits. This encompassed a broad range of activities including engaging in artistic, music-related and organised activities, playing computer games and – for younger children in particular – simply playing. Making specific time to do something you enjoy can certainly improve your well-being.

Play for well-being

5. Learn something new

The New Year is a great time to start a new challenge. Whether it is something you have been learning for a while or completely new, there a benefits to engaging and learning.  Why not sign up to one of our challenge events?

Keep learning for well-being

If you would like more information and resources on mental health and well-being check out our Mental Health Resource Vault.

visit our resource vault

By Alexandra Turner - Research team

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