Wellbeing  &  Self care

Wellbeing is about more than just physical health - it is about caring for the Whole self and nurturing and developing creativity, expression, skills and insight. Wellbeing is not a fixed goal but a daily opportunity and no two people have the same needs.


We all have tools around and within us  to achieve good mental wellbeing and these can be developed using five key themes.

Visit our 'Self-Care Pages'  to explore fresh ideas 

No matter what your mental state, your level of social comfort or indeed your financial circumstance, there is always a wealth of opportunity in your community to develop the five ways to wellbeing. Some  opportunities are obvious and others require some skill, effort and creative thinking to find but an activity you genuinely enjoy will always bring more long term benefit than one you force yourself to participate in. Be kind to yourself, take some time to think about what you may or may not like on a personal level and most importantly have an open mind -

always be on the look out for the next little opportunity for self-care.


Below you will find some suggestions of where to start.

The specifics are entirely up to you

Always keep in mind the five areas of focus

Connect - Be active - Take notice - Keep learning - Give

Everyday Opportunities for supporting Wellbeing

Submtted by Friends of The Forum


  • Read the local paper - events, fundraisers, charity activities, organisations
  • Stop to check posters and cards on boards or in windows - something new?
  • Check the junk mail before binning it - opportunity could be there
  • Local college prospectus should have wide range of interesting /fun stuff
  • Online Forums and/or selling sites often have community sections
  • Think back to what you enjoyed as a child or a teenager - revisit?
  • Book shops often sell book & tools combo sets - try a new skill?
  • Gyms and leisure centres often run regular classes - establish routine
  • Start having more conversations - you can exchange information and ideas
  • Ever consider training to support, facilitate or teach in your area of interest?
  • Can't concentrate too well? - The internet is full of free audio books
  • Experiment with use of colour in your clothing and surroundings - get creative
  • Join a club, society or support group - beneficial on so many levels
  • Start to keep a simple journal and you will discover new ideas
  • Start saying "yes" now and then - try something new once in a while
  • Colour in, build lego, try gaming or doing a jigsaw - it works for adults too
  • Set up a regular 'date night' or 'boys night' etc - do something other than eat/drink - try new things
  • Local charities sometimes run free/low cost courses or workshops
  • Admire a friend's skill in something? - ask them to teach you
  • Browse discount & charity shops for ideas on new things to try
  • Don't just drive past billboards - special events are often advertised this way
  • Try one new ingredient or one new dish a week - explore the world of food
  • Have an evening with no TV/Computer - think of something else to do
  • Check with Rail/Bus services for cheap fares or even organised trips away
  • Try something new/scary? - Get sponsored - they get cash - you get support
  • Talk less & Listen more - You will be amazed at the long term benefits


Spiritual & Religious aspects

Religion and spirituality are a matter of personal choice but both can greatly influence people's day to day wellbeing. Various means by which people manage their mental health conditions are referenced here. People anchor their lives in different ways and there should be no judgement of how a person's choice is exercised. Allow your personal belief system to work for you and find ways to integrate it into your personal wellbeing - it could be one of your greatest strengths.


If you are a person of faith and your mental health issues make it difficult to attend your place of worship, then it is worth checking if CDs/DVDs/Internet & Radio broadcasts are available for those who are homebound or have similar challenges. You may consider attending a smaller meeting or one at a different time but if you can in some way maintain a connection to others who share your faith then you will have support and the sense of acceptance and belonging will boost your wellbeing.


If you describe yourself as a spiritual person but not necessarily affiliated with any particular faith, then the same principles  apply - whether you physically connect or gain support in other ways, your wellbeing will definitely benefit from nurturing your beliefs and the relationships with others around you who share them.


In all aspects of personal wellbeing, you alone can truly measure and appreciate the influence of different elements and it is perfectly OK to experiment and explore as you search for the things that work best. Your choice about whether or not to include a spiritual or religious aspect in your life is no different - as is your choice about how to integrate that decision into your overall wellbeing.

Promoting Wellbeing

Our Trust has dedicated "Promoting Wellbeing Teams" who offer information and training that empowers people to better manage their own mental health and take their skills and knowledge into the community to help others.


Course Brochure will appear on our Forum Website Calendar as available or you can

contact your local team directly to enquire.


Armagh/Dungannon    Promoting Wellbeing Team     (028) 37412521

Craigavon/Banbridge   Promoting Wellbeing Team     (028) 38344973

Newry&Mourne           Promoting Wellbeing Team     (028) 30834325

Self-care tools & ideas

This list has been formed from the generous contributions of members and friends of our Forum for information and inspiration.

Your own additions to this growing resource are very welcome. To share Self Care tips Please contact us.


Animal care - Audio books - Achievable projects - Acting as an advocate - Art - Accepting help when needed - Aromatherapy - Have an afternoon nap -

Use affirmations


Baking - Breathing techniques - Buying a little treat - Having a Bubble bath - Bingo - Blogging - Play Boardgames - Be a tourist in own town - Bird watching


Connecting with friends - Cycling - Cinema - Crafts - Children - Coffee and chat -Church - CBT - Getting Creative - Cooking - Joining a club - Watch Cartoons -Crosswords - Stroking the cats - Burning Candles - Cloud watching - Do some Colouring in - Singing in a choir - Colouring in (its not just for kids)


Diary keeping - Daily routine - Day trips - DIY - Making a daisy chain - Having a Duvet day - Decluttering - Dog walking - Dressmaking - Dancing - Decorating -

Eat a healthy diet 


Eating a favourite meal - Exercising - Establish and maintain personal boundaries


Family - Friends - Food - Fresh air - Flower arranging - Form drawing - Fishing - Faith - Get a facial - Fresh flowers


Gardening - Gym - Gratitude - Giggles and silliness - Walking barefoot on the Grass - Groups and clubs - Guided relaxation - Grooming the dog - Genealogy -

Don't hold on to grudges - Practice gratitude


Hugs - Helping others - Holidays - Getting hair done


Browsing the Internet


Journalling - Making Jam and marmalade - Doing jigsaws


Kids - Creating a keepsake box - Knitting 


Live comedy - Listening to the rain - Learning something new -

Live within your means


Mental Health Service User Forum - Mindfulness - Music - Meditation - Massage - Mahjong - Have a Movie marathon or boxset Marathon - Getting a manicure -

Make someone smile each day - Motorcycle run


Trying something new - Getting nails done - Night out with friends - Try some new foods - Accept that its ok to say no - Nurture spiritual/religious life -

Take a night class


Online shopping - Organising and cleaning worktools - Sitting Outside - Watching an open fire burn - Don't over commit - 


Write poetry - Pets - Painting - Prayer - Read Poetry - Looking through photographs - Making a Phonecall to a friend or family member - Playing an instrument - Photography - Going on a Picnic - Powerhosing the patio - Paintballing -

Getting a pedicure - Polishing brass - Purge email folders - Play


Qi gong


Running - Relaxation techniques - Reading - Reflexology -

Revisit chiildhood book favourites


Shopping - Singing - Study - Social networking - Swimming - Getting a hot towel Shave - Sea air - Suduko - Support groups - Getting the right amount of sleep - Luxurious hot shower - Get up early and watch the sun rise - Build a snowman - Start a Scrapbook - Have a wardrobe sort out - Spinning class -

Not comparing yourself with others


TV - Tai Chi - Teaching others - Theatre - Try new things - Trail biking -

Take a Training course - Therapy - Healing Tears - Team sports -

Keep to do lists manageable


Unplug the technology for a while


Voluntary work - Keep a vegetable garden


Walking - WRAP - Work role - Washing and waxing the car - Writing -

Woodworking - Write a real handwritten letter to someone special -

Write some 'real' letters



Yoga - Watching funny Youtube videos


ZZzzzzs - Get enough sleep 

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