5 Tips for Mindfulness

Winter can bring more challenges than braving the cold. Long nights and short days can have an effect on our mental health, making us feel down and hopeless. We’ve put together a list of 5 things that you can do to help lift your mood and practice mindfulness, with help from the NHS.

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.
NHS (Mental Heath)

1. Connect with other people

Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing, helping you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth. Sharing positive experiences with others can help lift your mood and friends, family or peers can help to provide emotional support, and allow you to support others in return.

  • Try to spend time with your family every day – even something as simple as arranging a fixed time to eat dinner together can be beneficial to your mental health
  • Reach out to friends that you haven’t seen in a while, try to arrange a meeting in person, or even talk on the phone
  • Have lunch with a colleague during the day
  • Visit a friend or family member who might be lonely
  • Make the most of modern technology by staying in touch with friends and family through video apps like FaceTime or Zoom, especially if you’re unable to leave the house or you live far apart

2. Be physically active

Being active is just as important for your mental health and wellbeing as it is for your physical fitness. Exercise can raise your self-esteem, helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them. In addition, physical exercise can cause chemical changes in your brain, releasing endorphins that can positively change your mood.

3. Learn new skills

Research has shown that learning new skills can help to improve your mental wellbeing by boosting your self-confidence and raising your self-esteem. Hobbies can help you build a sense of purpose and achievement, and they can also help you to connect with others, as many have positive communities for you to engage with online and in person.

Examples include:

  • Cooking
  • Painting
  • DIY home projects
  • Learning to play a musical instrument
  • Writing a blog
  • Taking up a new sport

4. Give to others

Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental health by creating positive feelings and a sense of self-worth and reward, helping you to connect with other people.

Try thanking others for something they have done for you, or simply asking friends, family or colleagues how they are (and genuinely listening to their reply). Even spending time with friends or relatives who need company or support can be beneficial to their own wellbeing.

5. Live in the moment

Paying attention to the present moment and what’s going on around you can help to improve your mental wellbeing – this includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. This mindfulness can help you to enjoy life more, focusing on the moment and understanding yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach its challenges.

Anna Marie Clementson
Anna Marie Clementson