How do you #ExpressYourself? Signals is working with Colchester Libraries to encourage young people to embrace creativity as a form of self-help and improved wellbeing.

We want to help children feel more connected and included in their community, allowing them to make positive lifestyle choices. It will also allow us to gain a better understanding of the issues facing children currently and how best to tackle these. All whilst having fun and sharing their experiences with others.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing

What is wellbeing?

The concept of wellbeing comprises two main elements: feeling good and functioning well. Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity and engagement are characteristic of someone who has a positive experience of their life. Equally important for wellbeing is our functioning in the world. Experiencing positive relationships, having some control over your life and having a sense of purpose are all important attributes of wellbeing (source).

A review of the most up-to-date evidence suggests that building the following five actions into our day-to-day lives is important for well-being:


There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.

It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.

With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.

  • Talk to someone instead of sending a text
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
  • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is

Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.

Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs not the lift
  • Walk or cycle to school
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey
  • Have a kick-about in a local park

Take notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness, but this can be an alien idea to young minds.

Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.

Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Recognizes your strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify what needs to be done to complete a task
  • Recognizes errors in schoolwork and makes edits or changes
  • Understand and talk about his feelings
  • Recognizes other people’s needs and feelings
  • Understand how your own behaviour can affects others


Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.

The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.

Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Visit your local library and read a new book
  • Join a book club
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Learn a new word


Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research.

Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.

Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.