Blog: Jonathan – How I look after my wellbeing through learning

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This month, we’ve been sharing some tips and advice on what you can do to help keep mentally well. The ‘6 Ways to Wellbeing’ is a simple but effective set of actions to follow to help you improve your everyday wellbeing. Evidence suggests that even just a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and improve how you feel.

The 6 ways are: connectbe activekeep learning, givetake notice, care for the planet

We wanted to share with you a little something written by Jonathan, one of our Referral Administrators, on how he improves his wellbeing through learning:

“I’ve always been committed to the principle of lifelong learning, and there are a few things I do on a regular basis, without having to really think about them anymore.

Wander around bookshops to see the new publications. I either buy them or, as it can be really expensive, borrow them from the library or research them on the internet.

Chat with friends, either in person or on social media, about current issues.

Follow sites online that interest me; for example, the London Review of books (I also read the printed copy in the Albert Sloman library at Essex University). A new site I have started to follow on Instagram is ‘sharkgirlmadison’, run by 24-year-old Australian Madison Stewart, a filmmaker who regularly swims with sharks and is aiming to educate people on the factual reality of shark behaviour and how overfishing them is destroying the oceans and putting our own health at risk.

I receive emails from, amongst others, JSTOR Daily. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources and has some fascinating articles, for example ‘A loss of meaning’, about the rise of suicide rates in America coupled with the rise of people seeking help for anxiety and depression.

I take courses when something particularly interests me. Currently I am studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Essex University. In the past I have taken Maths GCSE at 38 years old, as I failed maths O’Level at school, took a year’s life-drawing course at Greyfriars (when it was an adult education centre), passed my certificate in counselling at Colchester Institute, the first year they ran it, in 1989.

Voluntary work is a brilliant way to learn, and to contribute to society in the process. I have been a school governor at the Colne Community school in Brightlingsea, and a ward-helper at St Helena Hospice.

I also attend public talks and debates by artists, authors, politicians, anyone who might remotely interest me and sometimes even if they don’t. One of the most memorable, in the 1980s, was by Terry Waite, who was then the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury. A humble and fascinatingly interesting and humorous man who, a few months later, whilst on a mission in Lebanon to secure the release of four hostages, was himself taken hostage, and held from 1987 to 1991.”


What do you do to help achieve your 6 Ways to Wellbeing? Follow our social media pages @mnessexmind for some more inspiration. 

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