5 Ways to Wellbeing

Why are they useful?

Evidence suggests that wellbeing is also important in the lives of children and young people.

  • Young people with a good level of wellbeing are more likely to perform well at school and be physically healthy (Department of Health, 2011).As children get older increased physical activity is also linked to better weight control, decreasing the risk of obesity.
  • Enabling young people to develop awareness about the importance of looking after their wellbeing could offer benefits for their mental health in the future because we know that 75% of adult mental health problems begin before the age of 18 (CMO, 2012).
  • Emotional and mental wellbeing could be a protective factor in reducing the likelihood of young people using drugs or alcohol (Public Health England, 2013). It builds resilience.

Connect with people around you

Connect with family, friends, peers and neighbours, at home, school or in your local community.

 How can this be done? 

  • With family –share your day and ask about theirs
  • At school -speak to someone new. Smile and speak to someone as you pass them in the corridor
  • Ask a friend about their weekend and pay attention and listen when they tell you
  • Talk to someone in person or on the phone instead of messaging or social media
  • Make contact with someone you used to hang out with
  • Find an old photo of friends or family and share it with them
  • Don’t use your phone for a day (or at least for a few hours!
  • Take your headphones off when in a shop
  • Ask your parents or carer about their childhood
  • Don’t use the self-checkout in a shop and talk to the shop assistant
  • Write a letter or send a postcard to someone
  • Smile at a person on the street and say hello
  • Share a random or inspirational photo with your friends
  • Set up a social network group with a new group of friends

Take Notice

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are on a train, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

How can this be done?

  • Take a different, more beautiful route to or from school
  • Stop and really take in your surroundings
  • Reflect on the positives, what can you be grateful for –there is always something
  • Take notice of what you are thinking. Not to judge or be hard on yourself, but just to be more aware of what you are thinking
  • Really savour every mouthful of your lunch, noticing the texture, flavour, how the food feels, tastes
  • Consider your strengths and how you make the most of them.
  • Think about who inspires you and why
  • Notice your neighbours and people around you
  • Notice wildflowers and where they grow
  • Watch animals and birds outside
  • Think about what your parents do for you
  • Pretend you are someone else and reflect on what they would think about you
  • Plan for the future and where you’d like to be in 5 years’ time
  • Do some people watching in the middle of town or in the park
  • Try a new food and then notice how different it tastes and feels


Any acts of kindness, whether small or large can make you feel happier and more satisfied about life. Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and will create connections with the people around you.

How can this be done? 

  • Smile and be willing to give your time to a conversation
  • Check up on a friend
  • Say thank you to someone who has helped you. Send a text, or message or write them a letter to show how much it meant to you.
  • Give unwanted items to a local charity shop
  • Donate your time to do something for someone else; help out a neighbour; carry shopping or offer to baby-sit
  • Offer to help your parents or people you live with round the house
  • Bake a cake and give it to someone
  • Do some volunteering
  • Help out at a local fete or event
  • Nominate someone for an award
  • Give some food to a food bank
  • Be a mentor for someone
  • Raise money for charity
  • Help an elderly neighbour
  • Be a good role model
  • Learn how to put someone in the recovery position
  • Give yourself some time to relax
  • Pick up litter in the park
  • Take action to improve your area, e.g. get involved in Youth Parliament, Youth Participation or Youth focus groups
  • Volunteer for an extra responsibility at school or college

Be Active

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy; one that suits your level of mobility and fitness. Walk to school instead of getting the bus. Go to the park, try a new activity.

How can this be done? 

  • Play your favourite song and dance to it
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk to school
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the final part of your journey
  • Go to your local park
  • Stretch and move your limbs in the morning, midday and evening
  • Join a new sports club or team, the school will have some great opportunities
  • Walk the dog
  • Do some gardening
  • Make bread –it’s hard work!
  • Climb a tree
  • Go to PE –no excuses!
  • Try out a new exercise class like yoga or Zumba
  • Learn how to swim or ride a bike
  • Create a five a side football team
  • Try crazy golf or bowling with your mates
  • Walk to see friends instead of going in the car
  • Learn to be a lifeguard
  • Coach a kid’s football team

Keep Learning

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for a school club/club. Take on a different responsibility. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident, as well as being fun to do.

How can this be done? 

  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Discover something new, find out more about something you’re interested in
  • Read the news or a book
  • Use a conversation to learn new things, be curious
  • Sign up for a class or group outside of school
  • Learn a new word•
  • Visit your local library
  • Learn something new about yourself
  • Go to a quiz or host one among your friends
  • Learn an inspirational quote
  • Download a random fact app
  • Go to a museum
  • Learn a new hobby or a new language
  • Learn a new dance routine or the words to a new song
  • Learn a new route home
  • Find out more about something your friends or family are interested in
  • Learn more about your family history
  • If you hear something you don’t understand, google it straight away
  • Use a dictionary for words you don’t know
  • Think about how others are feeling and work out why