Wellbeing Wednesdays – Follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing

November 11, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny

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We can all agree that 2020 has not been the year we expected it to be. On 23rd March, when the country went in to lockdown, nobody could predict or prepare for what was to come next.

Everyone’s experience of Coronavirus has been very different, and, as we are in a second lockdown, there is another sense of uncertainty upon us.

Many of us are experiencing mental health problems for the first time and those of us who were already struggling are finding things harder.

Whilst there is lots of support and information available for people to access, England Boxing are introducing #WellbeingWednesdays, to offer some ideas, inspiration and motivation from some of our members at what is a difficult time.

Over the coming weeks, each Wednesday we will share with you, different ways which our members have used the Five Ways to Wellbeing (shown below), which is discussed in England Boxing’s Box In Mind Bitesize sessions. It helps people keep themselves connected, active and motivated during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

In the first in our #WednesdayWellbeing series, Mental Health Lead for England Boxing, Lynette Mayo (pictured below), gives her own take on her Five Ways to Wellbeing journey during the pandemic.

Putting some structure and routine back in my life’

When Lockdown first started back in March, I was quite excited at the prospect of staying at home with my three children and partner for a few weeks.

However, the reality was not what I expected it to be at all. With the strains of home schooling, tantrums (and that was just me) and anxiety of the unknown kicking in, it was clear I had to do something to make things better for us all.

As the weeks went on, I noticed my mental health started to spiral and some days were just unbearable for me to be able to function and keep things going for my family.

As I have been tutoring the England Boxing Box In Mind and Bitesize courses for some time now, I thought back to five ways to wellbeing and realised this is where I needed to start to put some structure and routine back in my life. This is how I have been using the five ways to make things better for myself and my family.

1. Connect

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.

Being in lockdown, home schooling and working from home have at times been very lonely for me. I have found myself isolating socially from everyone over the last few months, which has been the case I am sure for many people.

With this in mind I have started phoning/messaging my friends more, just to check in, share stories and talk about nothing in particular. With the new lockdown restrictions giving you the opportunity to meet outside with one other person, I have arranged a walk each day with a friend or my mum to keep the human connection – socially distanced of course.

2. Be Active

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

I start my day with 15 minutes of yoga or meditation to focus my mind and prepare for the day ahead.

Mindfulness is something which helps quieten the noise in my head when things get too much and especially during coronavirus I have felt that refocusing my mind has really helped me.

Please find the link to the morning meditation I use by clicking here.

3. Take notice

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.

We have some beautiful places on our doorstep; where I live we have a woodland.  Throughout the pandemic I have spent many hours, on my own and with my family walking through them.

I have taken notice of the change in seasons throughout the months, spring, to summer and now in to Autumn. The beauty around me, the nature and the people who have enjoyed the woodland have given me great joy and comfort.

4. Keep learning

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

Along with many others, I have taken online classes, mostly in mental health and wellbeing.

I have also been enhancing my baking and cooking skills, by doing an A to Z of baking,  the results of which I have shared with my family and neighbours.

We all seem to have put a little bit of weight on because of this, but I love to see the smiles on people’s faces when I give them another batch of something good!

5. Give

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

I have always admired how people in the boxing community have given their time to the sport, however I have been even more inspired by the great work which has been demonstrated during the pandemic.

This is why when delivering the England Boxing Box In Mind Bitesize sessions, I always remind the members taking part to remember to give to themselves. If you feel mental and physically well, you can give yourself and others what they need during this time.

Remember to be kind to each other, but most of all be kind to yourself.

Share your ideas and experiences

We want you to share your ideas and stories with us too. Please email your stories, ideas, videos and photos to boxinmind@englandboxing.org, or share on your social media using the hash tag #wellbeingwednesdays

Find out more

You can discover more by going to the England Boxing Mental Health website page and also find ideas to keep fit physically on our Stay Active page.