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    What is Mental Wellbeing?

    What is Mental Wellbeing?

    Mental wellbeing is described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “the state in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” WHO stresses that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or illness.

    (Reference: mindhealthconnect) 

    Implementing the Five Ways to Wellbeing below in our day-to-day lives can help us to cope through difficult times and thrive in everyday life.

    • Connect – Talk and listen. Be there, feel connected.
    • Give – Your time, words, presence.
    • Be Active – Do what you can. Enjoy what you do. Move your mood.
    • Keep Learning – Embrace new experiences. See opportunities. Surprise yourself.
    • Take Notice – Be mindful, appreciate the little things, savour the moment, be here in the

    The South Western Sydney Local Health District launched the South Western Sydney Wellbeing Collaboration and the Five Ways to Wellbeing strategy in May 2016. For more information, please contact the South Western Sydney Local Health District via Phone: (02) 4629 5436, E-mail: or follow them on facebook or Twitter.

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    1. Connect

    Strong social relationships that are supportive, encouraging, and meaningful as well as having a wider social network are important for a feeling of connectedness and self-worth. Participation in a social life is critical for mental wellbeing and an effective buffer against mental health conditions.

    What can I do?

    Connect… with people

    • Ring a family member or friend you don’t see regularly
    • Re-connect with someone who is important to you that you may have drifted apart from
    • Join in the social activities of your family and friends or work social events
    • Do something fun or spontaneous with someone else
    • Say hello to someone you may normally not talk to
    2. Give

    Being generous and actively participating in your community is very beneficial. Volunteering and getting involved in your community is strongly linked with positive feelings and better functioning. Helping others, sharing one’s life skills and resources, and behaviours that promote a sense of purpose and teamwork can help to increase self-worth.

    What can I do?

    Give… your time to others and yourself

    • Do something nice for a family member, friend or a stranger
    • Volunteer your time to help others
    • Recycle and reduce waste
    • Become an organ donor
    • Give some time to yourself to recharge
    3. Take Notice

    Developing skills that increase awareness of what is immediately happening (both physically and mentally, and within and around us) improves wellbeing. Being present leads to heightened self-knowledge that increases the ability to self-critique negative behaviours or thought patterns, and to be proactive in choosing more positive behaviours.

    What can I do?

    Take Notice… of what is happening in and around you

    • Stop and make time on a daily basis to enjoy the good things or the beauty around you
    • Learn some mindfulness techniques such as
      • Meditating or praying
      • Deep breathing and body relaxation exercises
      • Letting go
      • Observing and being aware
    • Do things that relax you, read, listen to music, do something creative
    4. Keep Learning

    Learning, remaining curious and setting goals is important for people of all ages. Learning is any approach that helps maintain curiosity and an enquiring mind. Goal setting that is self-generated, positively focused and aligned with personal values is strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.

    What can I do?

    Keep Learning… and be curious

    • Try something new
    • Make a list of things you want to do or experience in your life
    • Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving
    • Take up a new hobby or rediscover an old interest
    • Learn
      • more about your family tree, your ancestors, your culture or your family traditions
      • about a different culture, religion or philosophy
    5. Be Active

    Physical activity increases wellbeing as well as lowering depression and anxiety. It increases self-belief, ability to cope with difficult situations, and provides a sense of mastery.

    What can I do?

    Be Active… and eat well

    • Regularly do a physical activity you enjoy
    • Leave the car at home and walk to the shop or get off the bus a stop early and walk the last part of your journey
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Include five serves of vegetables, two serves of fruit and protein daily
    • Keep your caffeine intake to a minimum