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The ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ is an evidence-based set of practical actions that can be performed daily to enhance wellbeing. They are to: learn, connect, take notice, give and be active. A new paper by Dr Rowan Diamond in the Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (O-CAP) group suggests ways in which this framework of actions could be applied during this time of upheaval.

Image shows someone jumping between rocks with the broken word on each side saying 'impossible'.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its management have placed significant new strains on wellbeing. The combination of restrictions to physical freedom, the loss of professional and social identity, financial worries, the possibility of bereavement, and anxiety about one’s own health are likely to exacerbate pre-existing mental health problems and contribute to the onset of others.

 

When it is easy to lose structure, routine, and a focus on one’s own wellbeing, this simple, easy framework could help us all to reassess our wellbeing and the balance of activities in our lives.Rowan Diamond, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing include:

  • Learn - The acquisition of new knowledge can give a sense of achievement and reward. 
  • Connect - Meaningful interaction with others can promote self-worth and a sense of identity. 
  • Take Notice - Mindfulness, or taking notice of the present moment, can improve mental well-being and may be a useful technique to help deal with anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Give - This current opportunity to pull together in the face of adversity and contribute toward a greater goal can give a sense of purpose, which can be experienced by everyone. 
  • Be active - Physical activity has been described by the Academy of Medical Sciences as a ‘miracle cure’, with impressive evidence of benefits to body and mind.

Never has the connection between physical and mental health been so important or relevant.

Read the full paper, Coronavirus disease 2019: achieving good mental health during social isolation.

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

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