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Dec 21, 2021 | by Centre

Over the holidays, what works to improve our mental health and wellbeing?

As some of us wind down for the holidays after another quite stressful and difficult year, and others are busier than ever – what can we do to boost our wellbeing, based on what we know works?

What the evidence says:

  • Listening to or making music is the most positive mood boosting thing you can do. 
  • Getting outdoors and active with others boosts both positive mood and feelings of worth and purpose and longer term resilience – weekly sport and/or outdoor activities with your partner are big wellbeing wins.
  • Volunteering has helped people with mental health conditions during the pandemic. The evidence is clear and overwhelming that volunteering can be good for volunteers’ wellbeing, and that volunteering is best for the wellbeing of those who need it most, people who may experience lower levels of wellbeing.
  • 5 ways to wellbeing – evidence-based actions which promote people’s wellbeing:
    • Connect – social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
    • Be active – regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.
    • Take notice – taking some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you can enhance your wellbeing.
    • Keep learning – continued learning through life can boost life satisfaction.
    • Give – giving time or money is associated with positive wellbeing

If you are looking for practical wellbeing advice this holiday, take a look at these resources:

  • Red Cross Wellbeing Calendar – activities to build resilience, cope with worries, and connect with others. 
  • NHS Mind Plan quiz. By answering five simple questions online, adults will get a personalised mental health action plan with practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control. 
  • The Every Mind Matters website showcases simple practical tips from sufferers and videos from experts on dealing with COVID-19, stress and anxiety, boosting your mood, sleeping better and what you can do to help others. Also tips and support on how to deal with change, cope with money worries and job uncertainty.
  • Campaign to End Loneliness – advice to tackle feelings of loneliness.
  • Young Minds – advice for young people and parents.
  • Student space – advice and support for students.


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