There are five ways to welbeing that have been proven to support individuals to maintain a stable and rewarding lifestyle whatever their status. These five key elements are simple to incorporate into your everyday routine and have a positive effect on all those that you may encounter on your journey as well as yourself.
1. CONNECT: Part of the make up of a human being is to connect with those around you. Positive social networking has numerous benefits to the individual and those around them. Reconnecting with family members, colleagues and neighbours and expanding your social network either at home. work, school, or in your local community. Everyone needs someone and the more people in your network the more secure and stable you become. Think of each positive connection as a cornerstone in your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich your day.
Phone someone you haven’t spoke to for a while and meet up with them, phone a loved one even if it’s just to say, I love you or I miss you. Smile at everyone you meet, it’s contagious. Strive to meet new people via mutual aid groups or community groups in your locality. Become a part of something rather than apart from everything. Do some voluntary work if you have spare time….etc…etc.
2. BE ACTIVE: Go for a walk or a run. Step outside, cycle, play a game, dance. Excercise makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness. Join a gym. (SUSSED) have got a link to free gym passes for members who are interested in doing this) Sport and physical excercise has been identified as a key element in early recovery.
3. TAKE NOTICE: Be curious, notice the beauty of things around you instead of focussing on the negative as we all have a tendency to do. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, THE NOW! Whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your own experiences will help you to appreciate what matters most to you.
4. KEEP LEARNING: Try something new, set yourself challenges. Rediscover old interests. Sign up for that course that you’ve been meaning to do. Take on a different responsibility. Fix a bike. Learn to play a musical instrument, join that art group, learn how to cook your favourite food. SET A CHALLENGE THAT YOU WIL ENJOY ACHIEVING!! Learning new things will boost your confidence, self esteem and make you more confident as we l a being fun.
5. GIVE: do something nice for a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. LOOK OUT AS WELL AS IN!! Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
None of the above are going to be of maximum benefit if there is no fun involved. Remember we did not recovery to endure life, we recovered to enjoy life. And all of the above can be fun. Connecting with old friends and finding new friends, learning about ourselves and those around us as well as learning to improve our quality of life. Exercise can be fun to, especially when your doing something with an old man like me, it is hilarious not just fun!!! Don’t overdo it though, and always seek medical quidance. Excercise has been identified as an important part of sustainable recovery but get checked out before you embark on your excercise plan. Volunteering and giving your time freely so that others may benefit from your experience and assets is rewarding as well as fun.
Always make sure that you have a balance in everything you do though otherwise it will take all the fun out of it and become tedious and you will end up getting resentful at the very thing that you are doing to maintain equilibrium in your recovery.