Ideas for improving our wellbeing

4th January 2018

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Written by Sonia Mainstone-Cotton

Wellbeing is a term that is used regularly, we hear it so often in relation to children and young people, but as children workers we are not always very good at implementing the ideas for ourselves. If we have a good wellbeing then we are in a much better position to support children’s wellbeing.  The new year is a good time to think about simple things we can do to help our wellbeing. Below are a few ideas that you could try out over the next days and weeks

Eat well- make sure each day you eat something which is good for you and makes you feel good. Food which is classed as good mood foods are- blueberries, avocado, kale, marmite, sweet potato, spinach, dark chocolate, chamomile tea.

Sleep well– we need around 8 hrs sleep a night, sleep enables us to have clear minds and make memories.

Spend time outside– there is growing research to show the positive impact spending time outside has on our brain, emotional and physical wellbeing. If possible get outside every day, even if it is only for 5 or 10 minutes.

Be kind to yourself- so often we can put high expectations on ourselves, we can be self-critical about things not being perfect or not getting enough done. Think about the words you use on yourself, take time to notice these and if they are negative change them, tell yourself that what you are doing is good enough, remind yourself it is ok to feel tired, you will get through this.

Do something that makes you happy -do something each day which makes you happy and is for you. When I asked people what they did that made them happy the list was varied, some ideas were- swimming, crochet, bake, read, listen to music, garden, walk my dog, mindfulness, yoga, paint, run, sing, play the piano.

Exercising– Often when we are busy we forget to exercise or find it difficult to find the time to exercise.When we have busy jobs working physically with children we can often think we don’t need to exercise. Participating in exercise can help to increase the endorphin levels in our brain, endorphin is a chemical which triggers positive feelings in our brain; research also suggests that exercise can help to improve self-esteem, sleep quality, energy levels, reduce stress and depression (NHS 2017)

If you would like more ideas and further writing on this subject, I have a new book out –Promoting emotional wellbeing in early years staff published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Reference – NHS (2017) Benefits of exercise accessed on 28/5/17 

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