Five Ways to Wellbeing

Take Notice, Be Active, Keep Learning, Give, Connect.

The ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ have been identified through extensive reviews of research and expert opinion as simple actions that anyone can take that will have a positive impact on their day to day wellbeing.

Small changes can make a big difference.  Building just five actions into our daily lives can increase wellbeing.  This is all about taking action to make change – the more you put in, the more you are likely to get out.

Some suggestions to help you plan your own five ways to wellbeing are detailed below.

Landscape – Take time to look at the sites, the geology and the culture which has shaped our region and the industrial world. The Black Country Geopark website highlights areas of significance and discusses their importance. Visit the Black Country Geopark website for more information.

 

Online museums – Some of the borough’s collections of museum pieces, art, local history, and glass can be viewed online. This can help you to have more awareness of your local surroundings. Click here to explore.

 

Nature – Enjoy your outside space or views by taking the time to appreciate and identify the wildlife. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds can help you get started. Wildlife Watch can help the whole family connect with nature, this is also an excellent provision for children.

Can’t go outdoors – If you don’t have an outside space you can try to bring the nature inside by creating your own little indoor garden. The BBC has a guide to looking after house plants. Click here to find out more.

Rainbow window displays – You could get creative and make some window displays. Art such as the rainbows we are seeing can help to cheer up passers-by. You could also go for a walk and try to spot the rainbows in your local area.

There are plenty of opportunities to move more at home and outdoors. A few ideas are explained below.

Activity indoorsSport England has some fabulous resources giving ideas and support for being active at home or on our own outdoors. It has resources for people of all abilities and ages. Being more active doesn’t only make us feel better physically, it also helps to improve our mental health.

Activity Outdoors

Walks – The Dudley Borough has a striking, varied and beautiful landscape influenced by its geology and industrial heritage. This can be explored by walking. During the Covid-19 pandemic, areas such as town centres and canal towpaths may not provide enough space to keep a safe 2 metres away from other people. Listed below are the borough’s nature reserves, they can offer some areas of open space and have wide paths.

  • Saltwells some wide paths through the woodland and an open meadow area
  • Barrow Hill open space
  • Wrens Nest some open space
  • Buckpool and Fens Pool large areas of open space and some wide paths
  • The Leasowes some open space
  • Cotwall End mixture of woodland and open fields
  • Bumble Hole open space
  • Warrens Hall open space

To find out more about these nature reserves click here.

 

Cycling – Cycling is a great way to keep active and enjoy the outdoors. There are a network of cycle routes across the borough. These maps highlight some of the cycle routes and footpaths.

Dudley north cycle map

Dudley south cycle map

Dudley Adult and Community Learning has an online course where you can explore the benefits of cycling for adults and children. The course will help you make your cycle rides more interactive and fun.

If you would like more information contact Glen Ostins on 0782 4598 894 or glen.ostins@dudley.gov.uk

Sustrans gives you information on the national cycle network, they also have maps showing walking routes which share some of the cycle network.

When choosing your routes please be aware canal tow paths are unlikely to allow you to maintain 2 metres distance when passing people.

Home craft packs – For those of you who don’t like the idea of using the internet Dudley Adult and Community Learning has craft packs. Using these packs you’ll get lots of ideas similar to attending a face to face class.

If you would like more information contact Glen Ostins on 0782 4598 894 or glen.ostins@dudley.gov.uk

 Online learning – Dudley Adult and Community Learning are making their courses available online. Topics include health, art and computing.

If you would like more information contact Glen Ostins on 0782 4598 894 or glen.ostins@dudley.gov.uk

Open University – Nearly 1000 free online courses are available across 8 different subject areas. Courses vary in size and vary from beginner to advanced level. Click here to browse the catalogue of courses.

Chatter Pack – A comprehensive list of resources to prevent you getting bored and help you to discover new areas of interest.

Crafting – A very popular and rewarding pastime. At the end of the learning and making processes you have an item to show for your endeavours. The internet is awash with ideas and how to videos. There are even forums to talk to others with similar interests.

Local history – Take the opportunity to use online resources to learn about our local history. The Discover Dudley website has plenty of interesting information to get you started.

Covid-19 response support – There are many ways in which you can help your local community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dudley Council for Voluntary Service can help you get started.

Volunteering opportunities – Away from the Covid-19 pandemic response there are many volunteering opportunities across Dudley. Dudley Council for Voluntary Service will help to find the best opportunity for you.

Baking or cooking – If you enjoy baking or cooking make enough to share with a neighbour or friend. You can find plenty of recipes to try on our Let’s Get website.

Cheering up neighbours and family with young children – Try printing out posters of things they like. Popular subjects include unicorns, flowers and dinosaurs. The children can colour these in, they may also like to draw you a picture. Click here to find free colouring sheets covering many topics.

Connecting whilst physically apart

Post

Send a letter, pictures, photographs or postcards. It feels great to receive something special in the post, but it is a great feeling to send someone something nice. This thoughtful gesture could be shared by your friend.

Pen Friend – This article from the Post Office explains the benefits of writing to someone and how you can find a pen pal.

Video

Live video chats can help you to feel closer to your friends and family. Live video calls can be between two people or a group. If you have access to the internet most video calls are free of charge.

Video calls don’t only have to be about talking, you can also do activities together, this is ideal if you struggle to talk about things for long periods. For example you could play a board game, try a quiz, set each other physical challenges, work through a crossword or support each other with a piece of work. If you just want to chat but can’t think of things to talk about, plan some topics for your call.

Here are some popular video chat platforms:

Whatsapp – You can contact your friends and family for free anywhere in the world using your mobile phone. WhatsApp uses your phone’s internet connection to make calls and send messages so provided you have a mobile internet connection or Wi-Fi with free data available you won’t incur a charge.

Zoom – Offers a free basic package which allows people to have individual and group video calls.

Skype – It’s free to use Skype to send messages and have audio and video calls with groups of up to 50 people. You can use Skype through a mobile phone, PC, Xbox and Alexa.

Facebook Messenger – Is a free service which allows you to have a video call between up to 8 of your Facebook friends.

Discord – Is free and helps people communicate over voice, video, and text. It is used by school clubs, computer gaming friends, the art community, and friends who want to hang out. It’s particularly popular amongst computer gamers.

All these platforms offer free video messaging. Provided you have a mobile internet connection or Wi-Fi with free data available you won’t incur a charge.

Telephone

Not everyone is comfortable using the internet or mobile phones. Sometimes a simple telephone chat can be enough to help both people feel connected.

There are telephone befriending services for people who feel lonely. Silverline with AgeUK helps to support older people through telephone friendship.

There are other befriending services available for people of different ages, click here to find out more.

People in a similar situation

Elefriends from Mind – Mind has the Elefriends supportive online community where you can receive and give help to others in similar situations to you.

Connecting with people you live with

If we live with someone, they might be our opportunity to enjoy company. Some of the ideas for the five ways to wellbeing could be done with the people you live with. They could help stimulate conversations between you and help you find something in common.