On 22nd February, a joint service is held by Girl Guiding UK and the Scout Association in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the joint birthdays of Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell and his wife, Olave Baden-Powell, the first World Chief Guide.
On this day, we are encouraged to take time out and to think; to take stock of our mental ‘wellbeing’. This term describes our mental state – how we are feeling and how we cope with our day-to-day lives.
There has been a lot of media hype about the wellbeing trend in recent years, and employers are keen to jump on the bandwagon of being seen to look after their employees’ mental health too. This is because studies show that if you experience low mental wellbeing over a long period of time, you are more likely to develop a mental health problem.
Wellbeing only really means we allow ourselves not to be distracted by the surrounding white noise of the 21st Century and to build in a peaceful 20 minutes each day just for our thoughts; to reflect.
Reflection has long been identified as an integral part of the learning process. Without this built into timetables, pupils do not apply their learning and it does not ‘stick’. Or if it does, because it has been repeated by rote, then it is not understood and so is rendered meaningless.
Evidence shows that continuing to learn throughout adult life can improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. Learning can boost self-confidence, as the more capable you prove yourself to be, the better you feel about yourself. Additionally, it can help build a sense of purpose and allow you to connect with others. Learning often involves interacting with other people, which can improve our wellbeing by helping us to build and strengthen social relationships.
Learning is also associated with greater satisfaction, optimism and a greater ability to cope with stress. Adult learners also report more feelings of self-esteem and hope.
We are all different; what affects someone’s mental wellbeing will not necessarily affect others in the same way. Stress, loneliness, inactivity and a lack of sleep are all negative factors in maintaining wellbeing.
Other top tips for maintaining a healthy mental state include:
Lucy Sherry, Solicitor-Advocate; Head of Medical Negligence specialises in medical negligence litigation, previously representing the NHS Litigation Authority and one of the GP Unions. Lucy now works with injured individuals and bereaved families to achieve compensation for adverse outcomes. Lucy has a passion for learning and sharing her knowledge, regularly delivering medico-legal training to lawyers, attending many hours of medical lectures each year to keep abreast of changes in treatments, and gaining an insight into new health and medical findings to share with Thomson & Bancks’ clients and visitors to this blog.
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