Dr Hussey said:
“We all know about maintaining our physical health. I want everybody in Wales to be clear on how they can keep their mental health in good shape too. In difficult economic times, it’s even more important that people are resilient and equipped to deal with the strains and stresses of daily life.
“As dark wintry nights loom, it’s a great time to think about the five ways to wellbeing – small changes you can make to help you feel good and function well in your daily life. Developed by NEF, the new economics foundation, they are a set of evidence-based actions: connect; be active; take notice; keep learning; and give.
“Connect with those around you. Spend time developing the relationships in your everyday life. Real-life social networks can protect against mental ill health – research has found that happy people have stronger social relationships than less happy people.
“Be active: go outside, for a walk, or a cycle. Do some gardening, or join a dance class. Keeping physically active, even in small doses, makes you feel good.
“Take notice of your surroundings, savour the moment, whether you are eating lunch or walking to work. Reflecting on your experiences helps you appreciate what matters to you.
“Keep learning, try something new or rediscover an old interest. We know that for children, learning plays an important role in their development, but continuing to learn throughout your life enhances self-esteem, encourages us to be more social and more active.
“Give, or do something for others, whether it’s a friend or a stranger. Thank someone. Volunteer your time. Mental wellbeing is enhanced when we are able to achieve a sense of purpose in society and contribute to our community.
“I want to encourage everyone in Wales to have the best mental health, so that we have resilience for the difficult times, and can live fuller lives. Try the five ways to wellbeing for yourself this winter, and feel the benefits.”