World Mental Health Day: A Focus on Wellbeing

Camping Retreat

World Mental Health Day: A Focus on Wellbeing

Today is World Mental Health Day and we thought we would take the opportunity to schedule a moment to breathe in and reflect on mental health and our own wellbeing. We want to raise awareness of self-care and have friendly conversations that destigmatize talking about mental health. World Mental Health Day makes space in our day to think and communicate to each other about our mental health and wellbeing. Read more to discover our conversations about wellbeing, how ACH is committed to improving tenant wellbeing and steps you can take to improve your sense of wellbeing.  

What is wellbeing? 

Wellbeing is more than momentary happiness. It is a longer-term awareness of how satisfied you are in your day-to-day life and what you think about your future. 

The New Economics Foundation describes wellbeing as:  

‘Wellbeing can be understood as how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole’ 

How you feel and function is guided by external factors such as income, employment, social networks and housing. It is also guided by internal factors that govern how well you can cope, like optimism, resilience and self-esteem. It is a combination of different factors in your life, which all impact one another. 

Thinking about your wellbeing can be as simple as just asking yourself ‘How are you doing?’ just as you would ask a friend. It’s all about self-care and taking time for yourself.  

How does ACH support tenant wellbeing? 

At ACH our Support Team works not only to support the physical needs of our tenants, but also their emotional wellbeing. The support team helps tenants with finance, health, education, training, employment, legal issues and family reunions. All these issues have an impact on wellbeing. As so much of our sense of wellbeing is tied up with concerns over housing, jobs and health it needs a holistic approach to helping others.  

Back in August, our support team took five of our tenants on a Wellbeing Retreat. On the retreat they spent two nights at the Hill House Retreat, spending time in nature, breaking away from the stresses of everyday life and connecting with each other.  

This was an opportunity to get away from everyday life and put the focus back on themselves and each other. The support team and tenants bonded over hiking, campfires, boardgames and outdoor games.  

The wellbeing retreat was a chance to experience a pace different to hectic city life, to understand tenant and support worker challenges and attune to how we can reshape our services to meet these throughout the integration process. 

This was a wellbeing retreat for both ACH staff and our tenants, and an opportunity for both to connect with each other, get active in the countryside and be mindful of the present moment.  

The support team have plans to have another wellbeing day at the end of October, taking tenants to visit Westonbirt Arboretum. This will be another opporunity to self-reflect and connect away from city life and appreciate autumn beauty. 

What can you do to improve your sense of wellbeing? 

According to advice given by the NHS, there are five ways you can work to improve your sense of wellbeing: 

  • Connect – opening up and connecting to the people around you  

  • Be active – this doesn’t necessarily mean the gym! It could be as simple as taking a walk. 

  • Keep learning – learning new skills fills you with a sense of purpose and achievement. Have a look at ACH courses to see if you could learn a new skill, or come to our Get Online Week event on the 15th October to learn about IT training and courses.

  • Give to others – this could be as small as saying thank you, or as large as giving time volunteering 

  • Be mindful – become aware of the present moment, your thoughts, feelings, body and surroundings 

Happy City, an organisation with expertise on measuring happiness, also recommend five easy and practical ways you can take time to think and improve your sense of wellbeing: 

  1. Think about three good things that have happened to you this week. Small or big, take some time to think about things to be grateful for. 

  1. Go outside. Appreciate trees, blue sky, buildings, people around you and the fresh air. 

  1. Catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Phone, letter, catch up. 

  1. Think about your perfect day and try and make it happen! 

  1. Sit quietly for 5 minutes, think about your breathing and take the time to destress. 

Find out more...

For more information about mental health and wellbeing activities and places to go for support, visit Bristol Mind's website.