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Improve your wellbeing in just 15 minutes

Welcome to 15 minute wellbeing! This blog will draw on existing research into wellbeing and translate it into simple tasks and exercises that you can do in 15 minutes to improve your health and wellbeing.

Each activity will not cost any money to do, because why should we pay to feel good about ourselves? As we progress through the activities we will discover that we already have everything we need to improve our wellbeing.

Instead of telling you what to do or how to change your life, this blog simply provides you with different tasks to complete each week to help you feel better within yourself. The variety of activities means that you won’t get bored trying the same old thing. Instead, you’ll get to try lots of different things to figure out what works for you and your wellbeing.

The activities are grouped into seven themes:

  • Connection
  • Creativity
  • Giving
  • Learning
  • Mindfulness
  • Physical health
  • Reflection

Research has shown that all of these can improve wellbeing. You may recognise five of these – connection, giving, learning, mindfulness and physical health – from Five Ways to Wellbeing, a set of evidence-based actions to improve wellbeing.  Creativity and reflection have been included because there is an increasing amount of research into how engaging with creative activities and focusing inwardly can enhance our wellbeing and help us understand what works for us. I’ll provide snippets of this research in each blog post so you can get a good understanding of how each activity can improve your wellbeing.

I’ve chosen Time to Talk Day to launch 15 minute wellbeing. Time to Talk Day is a national day in the UK which aims to get more people talking about mental health. This blog cannot help alleviate mental illness, but it can provide ideas and options to improve wellbeing which contributes to good mental health. If you are concerned about your mental health, please speak to your local GP, local Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/  Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/  or Time to Change https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support

Theme 1: Connection

As it’s Time to Talk Day, this first activity will focus on connection and more specifically, sharing problems with others. Connection activities are all focused on encouraging more interactions with those around us, because strong social connections are essential to wellbeing. It’s not only the amount of social interactions we have that count, but the quality of them too – strong, positive social networks can help us feel like we belong and improve our wellbeing.

Developing relationships with others is something we usually do passively, without much effort – at school or work we spend a lot of the day with our classmates or colleagues which naturally results in friendships and relationships. However, as we get older we have less time to spend with our friends and family, which can result in fewer connections with others and increasing feelings of loneliness. Therefore, it’s important to invest in our relationships and make our connections more meaningful.    

One of the barriers to developing and maintaining positive relationships with others is sharing our problems, experiences and feelings with others. Today’s activity addresses this.

Why is connection important for our wellbeing?

Sharing problems with others and asking for their help can feel quite daunting. However, asking for support can help us feel better about ourselves and even help solve our problems. Today’s activity will help you identify the different people (or organisations) you can turn to when you experience different types of problems:

  • Practical ones, such as helping you lift something heavy
  • Answering difficult questions, such as homework or a tricky task at work
  • Emotional ones, such as mental health

Click the link below to download the worksheet. You can fill in the boxes using the ‘Fill & Sign’ tool.

I hope you find this activity useful and it gives you the confidence to seek help when you need it.

I will also be sharing wellbeing-related research, news and stories on twitter and Instagram in between weekly blog posts so do follow @15minwellbeing on both platforms to keep up to date.