Connect… With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections with support and enrich you every day.
Click here for some more ways to connect.
Find out about the other Six Ways to Wellbeing:
“In the evenings, you open your door, you bring a chair and you just chat.” Earlier in the year, a group of Newington residents applied for funding to have a play park built by their homes. It’s made a big difference to the children and their parents. This is Emma’s story:
Emma is a volunteer at Newington Big Local.
See how the group’s other projects, like its Veg Cubes, are boosting wellbeing by going to our Six Ways to Wellbeing Care for the Planet page.
A quick chat gave Jemma much needed reassurance when her son, Oakley, was five days old. It also inspired her to train as a volunteer Mother Supporter for the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. Now she can help other mums at the Deal Breastfeeding Support Group, Watch Jemma’s story:
Find out how James connects with his mates from HLC Dartford www.hlcdartford.btck.co.uk to play footy.
“Most runners you see are so friendly. So there’s definitely a community, a running community.”
“I used to train a lot when I was younger but that was very solitary. And I think running solitarily is very difficult to do. And that’s one of the reasons why, many years ago, I stopped, because it became a chore.”
“But running with a partner, you keep each other going. If one of us starts to sag or falter because we’re getting worn out, then the other one will goad us on and say, “Come on, you can’t stop, you’ve got to keep going.”
“What I’ve generally found is that most runners you see are so friendly. So there’s definitely a community, a running community. And everybody supports everybody else. You don’t know anybody but you end up chatting to the runner next to you. So yes, it’s good.”
“I think a library is the ultimate book share. I love the idea of who else has read that? And who else is going to read that after me?’
Since moving to Kent, books have helped Bee to connect with people and places. She runs two “Bee’s Bookshare” groups in Margate and Deal where people bring something they’ve loved or loathed to share with other readers. The get-togethers are free and you can find out more by following the link: Bee’s Bookshare
Bee’s local library has also helped her to feel at home:
“You can find out about your ancestors. When I moved to Margate, Margate’s got a fantastic history. So I went to my library’s local history section and just took out loads of photos of where I live now and what it used to be. And that’s really helped me to connect to the place I’ve relocated to.”
“I think a library is the ultimate book share. I love the idea of who else has read that? And who else is going to read that after me? Whereas if you’re buying books, it can be quite a solitary thing, if you aren’t sharing them with other people.”
Interested in your local history? Pop into your local library in Kent for inspiration.
“Unless it comes straight out of the fridge and into my mouth, it doesn’t get eaten often!”
With a young baby, Angela does not get much time to herself. So seeing other adults is really important:
When you’re rushing from one thing to the next, it sometimes feels impossible to stop. Even for five minutes. That’s why meal times are important for Jemma. They’re a chance to connect:
Jemma also makes time to meet up with other mums at the Deal Breastfeeding Support Group.
“I’ve made so many new friends. It’s unreal, the number of friends I’ve made!”
Jemma went along soon after her son, Oakley, was born: “I was a bit scared, a bit apprehensive. I walked through the door and everyone was a big smiley face, which helps! So as soon as the first five minutes was over, I was much more comfortable and not so scared.”
“When I first came I was really tired. I’d not had much sleep at all. And then, when you come and see other people with babies of similar age and they all look tired too, it’s fine! You know you are not the only one.”
“And if you are sat up in the middle of the night, you know that they are sat up too. So you feel better. You don’t feel so alone.”
“Sometimes you don’t want to go out and you don’t want to see anyone because you think, “I can’t be bothered”. But when you come, it means you actually have more energy. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been doing so much and I feel so much better. It’s really good that I’ve been seeing people, doing things, just because I’ve got out of the house, basically. I’ve made so many new friends. It’s unreal, the number of friends I’ve made! Like loads and loads and loads!”
If you’d like to find out about similar groups in your area, click here: http://www.abm.me.uk/breastfeeding-support-groups
Ruth and her baby son Russell also go to the Deal Breastfeeding Support Group:
‘I had some questions like, how much he was feeding and other bits and bobs. And the other mums gave me the answers I needed, so I felt reassured. So I felt that I wasn’t the only one who has a baby and who’s up until 3am. It’s ok. I am doing what he wants me to do. And that was really encouraging.’
Catching up – connecting – can make you feel good but it’s not always easy, as Kathy from Dartford points out:
Kathleen worships at St Edmund’s Church Living Well, Temple Hill, Dartford.
“The Vicar we had previously taught us to enjoy life. That might seem funny, but to eat together quite a lot, and on Sundays, when I am well, there are four of us who all meet for lunch because we’re all widows. And it is quite nice to communicate and to cook for each other occasionally. It is nice, you know.”
They enjoy their get-togethers so much, Kathleen and her friends now run a monthly lunch club for the Church. Everyone brings a dish to share, find out more by clicking here.
Here are some simple ways that you can connect:
- Sit with the family to eat a meal together
- Send a card or letter to someone you haven’t seen for a while
- Plan to go out the coffee/food/drink/with…
- Ask a colleague how the week is going
- Ring… who you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Talk to someone at work instead of an email
- Plan a fun activity to do with…
- Pop into a community centre and sign up to get involved in a community activity
- Sit and watch a film or something with the people you live with
- Send an email to… who you haven’t heard from in ages
- Call… for a chat
- Say hello to a neighbour
- Ask what is selling well when I buy something in the local shop
- Rural Kent are working to support rural communities connect with each in Kent to find out more click here or go to the following link www.ruralkent.org.uk
For some more ideas of how you can connect click here.
Live It Well is aiming to promote better wellbeing for Kent and Medway.
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