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What is wellbeing?

Wellbeing is a measure of how well we function day to day and how we feel about ourselves and our lives. People who enjoy high levels of wellbeing are described as flourishing. In this context, flourishing means that the person enjoys feelings of happiness, contentment and curiosity and is able to engage fully with what is going on around them. Flourishing also means functioning well in the world; the person experiences positive relationships, has some control over their life and has a sense of purpose.

So wellbeing is not simply the opposite of ill-being; looking at what causes distress won’t necessarily help us to identify the factors or drivers that give rise to wellbeing. For this reason the government-funded project, Mental Capital and Wellbeing was charged with identifying wellbeing drivers and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) was commissioned to identify and communicate how to put those drivers into practice. In other words, what do we need to do to flourish? NEF came up with the Five Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

The University has built on this common-sense and pragmatic approach to wellbeing so that all students and staff can benefit. It has therefore included, Be Healthy to emphasise the importance of behaviours that promote good health and personal safety; the University’s programme is called the Manchester Six Ways to Wellbeing. The six ways to wellbeing are outlined in this fun animation.

Wellbeing events, including the annual Wellbeing Week, are designed to encourage us all to think about how we manage our own wellbeing, and the steps we can take to recognise and reduce stress. They offer an opportunity to take time out to reflect, relax and find balance in our daily lives. The University is committed to wellbeing; find out more about resources for student wellbeing and staff wellbeing.

Get involved!

As a student you may wish to become a Wellbeing Champion; these passionate volunteers promote wellbeing by organising events across the campus to promote wellbeing year round. Volunteering roles that benefit other students count towards the Step Up and Lead section of the Stellify Award, and will be recorded on your HEAR.

And there are Staff Wellbeing Champions too. They help signpost staff to the University wellbeing services, national health and wellbeing days, University wellbeing events and arrange locally based wellbeing events to engage and support staff.

UoM Sport offers a range of Be Active courses, including for example, Tai Chi for Health, Hatha Yoga and Pilates see more at Be Active. There are also Wellbeing Services such as massage and beauty therapy and physio to enjoy.

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