Your wellbeing and resilience toolkit
Learn how to increase your wellbeing, strengthen your resilience and become more connected.
What is resilience and wellbeing?
'Resilience' describes your ability to cope with challenges, barriers or limited resources. 'Wellbeing' means feeling comfortable and happy.
Both can help us get through difficult times and make it easier to feel better and connect with others. Explore these activities to learn strategies that improve resilience and wellbeing.
- Draw three overlapping circles like this.
- Think about the things in your life that keep you well.
- Label the three circles 'People', 'Places', and 'Things'. Write down in each what is important to you, or what connects you with the person, place or thing. If something could be in more than one circle, write it where the circles overlap.
- Look at your completed circles. Think about how many connections you have, and how you can use them to help yourself or someone else.
- Which connections do you find most helpful and when? How do they support your wellbeing?
Belonging is an important emotion that reduces feelings of isolation. Making individuals feel connected to wider communities is vital in reducing the barrier to feeling accepted.
- How does a feeling of belonging within your community protect against loneliness?
- What does belonging mean to you?
- How can you support people you know to make them feel less isolated?
Read Shruti’s experience of moving to the UK. Reflect on her story, the barriers she faced, and what she did to become less lonely.
- How did you feel reading about Shruti’s experience?
- What will you do differently now?
Staying in contact can be difficult. Which ways do you prefer, from using social media, phoning to sending a letter?
Think about the ways your contacts reach out to you. Are they the same?
- Draw a circle, write 'Me' in the middle and draw lines to circles labelled 'Friends', 'Clubs and member organisations', 'Relatives', 'Neighbours', 'Workplaces', 'Organisations I use'.
- Write down names, ideas and your thoughts in the circles diagram. In clubs and member organisations, add any you would like to join.
- Who would you like to be in more contact with? Make a list. Include how you will contact them and when.
- Notice how they react when you get in touch.
- Write down or think about how you felt when you contacted them.
- Think about who else you could add to your list and get in touch with them.
Wellbeing is strongest when you feel safe and secure. Feeling safe also helps your resilience level.
- Watch this video.
- Write down three ways you are kind to yourself and others, including hobbies which help you to feel secure. How do these help you feel safe?
- What things or people make you feel safe? Think about what makes them so special.
- Write or draw things you think could make you feel even safer.
Add what you can do to achieve this. It could include talking to health specialists, or simply chatting regularly to your neighbours.
1. Everybody is worthwhile and worth knowing, but that can be easy to forget that when you're struggling.
It is vital for our wellbeing to have a positive view of ourselves.
Use the letters of your name to write down ways you are strong, in an everyday sense.
For example, for Hannah, it could be:
H - Happy when I'm talking to friends
A - Always call my grandma on a Friday
N - New skill of bread baking
N - Neat home after a tidy-up
A - Always try to leave the house once a day
H - Help my neighbours where possible.
2. How does writing something positive about yourself make you feel?
3. What images or memories help you remember you are strong and have things to offer?
4. Think about ways you can keep that positive feeling. How can you make that part of your daily routine?
Coping with change
Everybody goes through changes in life, like having children, changing job, moving house, retiring or losing someone close.
People manage in different ways. You might feel upset or angry about some changes. Accepting and moving on takes time. Do not pressure yourself to 'get over' things quickly.
1. Look at this diagram showing stages of coping with change.
2. How does the change curve apply to changes you have been through or are going through?
3. Does understanding the process help?
4. What do you do to cope with change?
Having a purpose and goals
From things that feel small, like healthier habits, to bigger things like changing jobs, having a plan helps you to feel more in control - which boosts wellbeing.
1. Some benefits of having a purpose and goals:
- keeps you motivated and focused.
- helps you feel part of something bigger, which can increase your wellbeing
- can build confidence and self-esteem
- gives hope: when you achieve your goals, more things seem possible.
How do these apply to something you're doing or would like to do in the future?
2. Search online for goal-setting worksheets and tools. Find what you prefer, for short-term or long-term goals. Or just write a list with two columns: 'My goals' and 'Date to be completed by'.
1. What do you think when you look at this picture? Is the person lonely, or just enjoying the feel of the afternoon sun?
2. Think about how being on your own is not the same as being lonely. People can be lonely in a group or even with their family.
3. Loneliness is something most people experience at different time in their lives, in different ways. It usually involves missing meaningful contact with others, or being dissatisfied with your social connections.
What does it mean to you?
Learning about loneliness
Long-term loneliness can have a bad effect on physical and mental health. Acknowledging it is crucial to help change this. Typical causes of loneliness include:
- being recently bereaved
- moving away from home for work of university
- being confined to the home, with an illness or small children
- retiring or changing jobs
- having a change in a relationship, like a break-up
- being the only person you know of your age, ethnicity, age or sexuality in a particular place.
Does this sound like someone you know? Can you get in touch to ask if they would like to talk, or to help them join a local club or organisation?
If people are worried about feeling lonely, they can also call our support line.
How I coped during lockdown
Lockdown has increased feelings of loneliness in the UK. Many people have not always known how to cope. Caitlin, Stan and Liz talk about strategies and activities that helped them feel better. Find out if their successes inspire you.
Here is another coping technique you might like to try. Celia, who had struggled with depression tried Art Therapy. Here are her thoughts:
“Art Therapy in the form of drawing, painting, colouring, is beneficial to all ages. My group gained an increasing sense of wellbeing in both mental and physical health. It is an activity that can be enjoyed alone or by joining a group. I find drawing and painting totally relaxing.
Another form of Art Therapy is mindfulness, such as colouring in objects and images already drawn. This also can be very calming and stress free. There are a variety of books available. Whatever you choose time flies by."
- How did Art Therapy benefit Celia socially and as an individual?
- What activities do you find most calming?
- Who can you share them with?
- How might they help you to improve your wellbeing?
More resources you might find useful
The British Red Cross has created a range of resources for building confidence and connecting with others. You can find out more about the project or click the links below to get started.