5 Ways to Wellbeing – Learn

27 May 2019

The fourth of the New Economic Foundations Ways to wellbeing is learn. Something I for one, spent a lot of time doing as a younger person. First there was school, then university, then a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. The 'trying to stay one step ahead of the children' I taught, making sure I was equipped enough to teach them whatever new topic we were learning the next week or term or whenever. I even went back again to formal education and studied for a Masters level qualification too. So learning has always been in my life.

What I have learnt has always been similar though; the formal kind of learning with tests, exams, qualifications and late night studying and essay completion! But no longer, since leaving teaching and the world of formal education behind, I'm looking for new ways and new things to learn.

'Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun'. That's one of the phrases on the leaflet I found about the 5 ways to wellbeing. It's stuck with me as I'm definitely experiencing low confidence and have little self-compassion and would really like a bit more fun in my life!

So what am I going to do about it, well I'm not sure because as I've probably said before anxiety about new things and new people has often held me back from having experiences which I would probably find fun and beneficial if I would only let myself!

I have recently found out about the recovery college where I live. The recovery college is offering educational courses as a route to recovery from mental health challenges. I've submitted my application and am now waiting to see if I am accepted onto my chosen courses. I am hoping by gaining greater insight into my mental health difficulties, I might find new and more effective methods to support myself and continue my journey to better mental health.

I'll keep you posted about what I learn and if you've a recovery college near you, do have a look and see what they are offering. You never know, you too might find that you can learn something more about yourself, or develop a skill you didn't realise you had!

Good luck on your road to recovery and I hope you find your street to success. I'd be interested to hear what new things you have learned to support your mental health and wellbeing or perhaps you've had to learn as a result of these difficulties.


A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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May 28, 2019, 6:29 a.m.

Hi Ellie, thanks for the great blog. As I note-take for students with disabilities, my learning is on-going. At the moment its on Religion, Media & Popular Culture. In order to give the students a level playing field, I ensure that I provide good notes. I love this particular blog. It incorporates loads of watching films. Last week I watched ’Knowing, ’ a Science Fiction film staring Nicholas Cage, it was about end-times. Loved it.


The Gardener

May 28, 2019, 11:03 a.m.

Lex, yesterday, told me to 'pace myself'. OK, but he missed out logistics and priorities. To tax office to sort out rates, nasty lady tells me gloatingly they do not do it any more, have to go to big town. On return, talked to two men, who moaned lengthily about their women. Mindful of Lex, decided not to pack too much in, Dump and Lidl can wait. No. Market tomorrow, busy all day. Thursday Ascension Day, everything shut. Friday visitors and start of 3-way twinning week-end. Logistics lesson please Ellie.


Tutti Frutti

May 28, 2019, 11:11 a.m.

Hi Ellie I have definitely found singing lessons and art lessons a good way of handling stress when I am well. I also did 3 courses at the recovery college after I was last in hospital 7 years ago. The mindfulness course was really good, the others less so but it was very useful in terms of getting out, getting some structure back etc. An interesting blog. Love TF x


The Gardener

May 28, 2019, 2:51 p.m.

TF, I loved singing in a serious choir, again, good for languages and pronunciation - love Russian and Slav songs. I gather you are a pianist, I love to improve, but lessons are seriously expensive, will just have to try DIY, have piano, loads music books. xx

The Gardener

May 28, 2019, 2:49 p.m.

Our UK vet said if you did not learn something new every day you might as well be dead. I am not actually studying anything, just making a huge effort to improve my French, and listen hard to radio etc to try and be 'more' French (not ashamed of being British. I do try and keep up with modern technology, my MA in computer applications for Historians was very advanced when I took it. But I seriously struggled with Smartphone, and had to admit myself beaten - always tapped the wrong keys, not a good start.



May 28, 2019, 4:18 p.m.

Hi Ellie. I had never heard of Recovery colleges before reading your blog so looked them up and see there is one near where I live. It looks good. What a brilliant idea. I am not sure I'm brave enough or ready to enrol but do like the sound of much that's on offer so am going to have a think about it. Thank you for alerting us to these colleges. Let us know if you get accepted. Thanks Ellie. Jul ***



May 28, 2019, 4:20 p.m.

Thanks for the blog today Ellie. I had not heard of recovery colleges, so I will look them up. I start every year with "intentions" (rather than resolutions) to learn a new skill, hobby, etc. This year it's learning French. I just want to be able to have a short conversation with the man who owns a French cafe restaurant I frequent, and not come off ridiculous! xo


Tutti Frutti

May 28, 2019, 5:05 p.m.

I think they might be a British thing because I got referred by my NHS team after having been in hospital in 2012.


May 28, 2019, 6:07 p.m.

Hello Ellie, your blog spoke to me. I value learning and not just academic stuff because this year I decided to learn how to juggle properly, and I think it was last year I decided to learn how to dance. Like TF I learned mindfulness years ago and that has been, and still is invaluable. But with the confidence thing and anxiety it was learning about how we do experiential avoidance which really helped. I still get anxious (but not as severe, not as frequent). I love this very short video because it said so clearly what I'd learned. https://youtu.be/C-ZuqeyxULM



May 28, 2019, 7:36 p.m.

Hello Ellie, Like others on here, I’ve never heard of recovery colleges. But I wish there were more help of every kind out there. My friend might still have been here if there had been. A day which started off with learning ( Creative Writing ) And was fruitful. I learnt a lot. I love learning new skills and this year took up upholstery. A new and fascinating area. I also love art, learning new techniques and ways of improving , art exhibitions, and singing. Walking with others ( alone not so much ) and exploring new areas and landscapes . In fact, keeping my mind active. Books with a good story, or history . Ooh, and a good debate, to sharpen my wits!


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