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*NEW*! 5 Ways to Wellbeing

Over the last few years, the NHS have adopted a new approach to wellbeing, called the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’. This approach centres on the theory that improving our wellbeing can be categorised into 5 sets of actions: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give (find out more here: http://www.fivewaystowellbeing.org/ and here http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/improve-mental-wellbeing.aspx )

Here are some ways to work this theory into wellbeing activities for young people:

Action match-up exercise

Aim: this activity is a great way to introduce young people to the 5 ways to wellbeing is to give them the opportunity to decide which actions fit under which themes.

Overview: The group are individually given a set of action cards that they must allocate to one or more of the 5 ways to wellbeing.


Lay out the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing cards’ out on the floor, using a large space (see resources section). Spread them out evenly with lots of space in between them

As a group, invite the young people to give a definition for each theme and encourage them to think of a few examples for each. (If you have been running wellbeing workshops already, you could ask the group to guess what significance the cards have collectively)

Give out a set of cards to each young person, or pair (see resources section). Ask each pair to take their time and consider which theme their action would fit under and why. Tell the group that they can also place their cards in between 2 or more themes.

After 10-15 minutes, ask the group to walk around and have a look at what other people’s cards were, and under what theme(s) they have placed them. Allow and facilitate conversations on different cards to naturally occur as a large group, as well as challenges to each other’s choice of themes. Encourage young people to reflect on their decisions and move their cards if they so wish.

Give everyone 5 blank cards and ask them to write their own ideas of actions for each of the 5 themes. Encourage those with confidence to share this with the wider group and place them on the floor with the other cards.

Encourage the young people to add a few of the ideas for actions that resonated with them to their Journey Journal



5 Ways Resources:

Large floor space
Blank Cards
5 Ways to Wellbeing Poster5 ways to Wellbeing Poster


Example Action Card

Action Card


Action Cards  (also see example card)

CONNECT: send a message to a friend you have lost contact with, write an email to someone who lives far away, start up a conversation with a stranger, try out a new club or group, get together with an old friend

BE ACTIVE: get off the bus early and walk the last few bus stops home, go for a walk in your local park, try a new sport, take the stairs instead of the lift, join your local basketball team, go dancing, race your fastest friend, go on a bike ride, go for a swim

TAKE NOTICE: look at what is above street level when you’re walking, look out for nature in the city, take a stroll through your local park and count how many new things you see, take notice of the changing seasons, enjoy how the weather feels-whatever it is, take a new route and discover streets you’ve never been down before

KEEP LEARNING: join the library and get some books out, find out about free classes near you, write down new words you learn and look their meaning up, ask a friend to tell you about what they are studying, download an app that helps you learn

GIVE: send a birthday card to a friend, give something you don’t need anymore to charity, take wasted food to someone sleeping rough, help someone find the right support they need, give your friend some help with their homework if they are struggling, show your support for a cause you believe in, give away something someone else needs more than you, give someone a present