How I'm using the five ways to wellbeing to look after my mental health
Fixing that loose connection
So how’s the lockdown going? For me, my Welsh lessons are painfully slow, my guitar playing sounds like a cat being strangled, my one call out as an NHS volunteer was a false alarm and my bottom still hurts from riding my bike! So pretty well all in all.
It’s a good job I’m still in touch with my family and friends. I’ve always had a bit of a reputation for being a talker so I’m determined not to let the current situation get in my way. Remembering that connecting is one of the five ways to mental wellbeing I learned from Lancashire Mind I am as keen as ever to keep in touch. I’m lucky in that I am a big user of social media so I regularly use email, Twitter, Messenger etc. but just as often I choose pick up the phone or drop someone a line. A wise person on Twitter suggested why not go through your address book and give people a call. You know; the ones you send a Christmas card to, and in that card every year you write “we really must get in touch next year” well now’s the perfect opportunity. I promise you those people will be really pleased you’ve got in touch and it will give you such a lift as well.
Recently I’ve been in touch with old school friends (I left school in 1978!!), former work colleagues and distant relatives and every single one was grateful for my call. At the end of the day everyone is in the same boat so an unexpected call from an old friend can help pass the day as we’re all stuck indoors at the moment. I also have elderly relatives who are struggling to come to terms with the current situation so a reassuring phone call works wonders.
As for me I have a son and daughter in different parts of the country and always look forward to seeing them. As we can’t meet up at the moment keeping in touch is even more important. We hosted a quiz on social media last Saturday night for them and their friends which we all enjoyed. Connecting with strangers is obviously difficult but when I’m out on my bike I always take the time to smile and say hello to those I pass (keeping an appropriate distance of course). I invariably get a smile and a nod in return and occasionally a brief chat. This certainly makes me feel good and I hope it does the same for them. For all I know that brief greeting maybe the only human interaction that person has all day.
So that’s how I’m trying to stay connected and I’m very grateful to the lady on Twitter who suggested working my way through my address book. If you have any novel ways in which you are keeping in touch please send them in to Lancashire Mind. It could be that your idea really helps someone who is feeling lonely and unsure during these difficult days.
I wish you well and stay safe.