As part of my ongoing research into behaviour change and social empowerment, I am very drawn to material about wellbeing, self efficacy and happiness. This seems like a critical area to think about as a result of how our lives have shifted as a result of COVID-19.
At a personal level, I have struggled with social distancing and feelings of isolation. Also, I tend to be always on the move, so staying at home and not being able to visit my parents, go to the coast or get away for the weekend has been hard. What I have found to be very beneficial is my daily walk around my suburb. Here are some pictures from my walk yesterday 🙂
There is so much information around about wellbeing and happiness, it is difficult to determine what are the most effective methods to support our sense of wellbeing during this difficult time. Health Direct is a government website dedicated to providing free and reliable information about health and wellbeing. In the region where I live, there is a Wellbeing Framework (PDF) which includes measurable wellbeing indicators.
The article on mental health is a useful guide to what impacts on our sense of wellness. The article identifies eight tips to building good mental health:
- Build relationships
- Exercise and stay healthy
- Develop gratitude
- Identify and use your strengths
- Create flow
- Give to others
- Spirituality or religion
- Seek help
Another article with 15 tips from clinical psychologist John Duffy identifies the importance of healthy food and exercise in supporting increased wellbeing and warding off depression.
- The Garden of Flowing in Perpetual Happiness by Philip Carr-Gomm is described as a “virtual ashram – a regular time and place for us to work with the tools and insights of the world’s spiritual traditions and modern psychological research – to help us find rest, healing, inspiration, hope and insight, even in difficult times.”
- The Science of Wellbeing led by Professor Laurie Santos and run through Yale University overviews what psychological science says about happiness. The purpose of the course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice.
- You can also do a bunch of free questionnaires from Penn University that are designed to measure happiness and wellbeing levels.
For my money, get out in nature and go for a walk or work in a garden – it is a tonic ❤ Enjoy!