A review of the most up-to-date evidence from the Centre of Wellbeing at the New Economics Foundation suggests that building the following five actions into our day-to-day lives is important for mental well-being. All five actions have coaching through them like a shiny sparkly thread; building connections, being active, reflecting on achievements, volunteering, challenging ourselves, learning something new and building confidence.
Here are the five ways to mental well-being; read them, digest them and use them in your coaching.
With the people in your session. Help people connect with each other. Find out what makes them tick. Listen to their reasons for attending. Say hello. Think of connections and relationships as the cornerstones of life and invest and value the time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich people’s experiences of your session.
Run an activity in ten minute chunks. Play outside. Be creative with your games. Promote that exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, help people discover a physical activity to enjoy, and which suits their level of mobility and fitness.
Be curious. Notice small improvements. Pay attention to moods and emotions. Praise commitment. Acknowledge effort. Recognise progress. Reflect on experiences that help people appreciate what matters.
Try something new. Nurture experience of failing at something new. Encourage people to take on new roles. Set a challenge people will enjoy achieving. Learn new things that build confidence as well as being fun.
Do something nice for an individual. Make someone’s day. Thank someone. Smile. Look out, as well as in. See yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community; this can be incredibly rewarding – creating connections with the people around you.
Liz Burkinshaw, Development Lead Officer: Participation, UK Coaching
Follow (Twitter): @lovely_buns