Find out about some of the many ways to a happier and healthier you

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Wellbeing

Wellbeing is when you feel good about yourself and your life.

People with higher levels of wellbeing live longer, healthier, happier lives and are more resilient in hard times.

However one in four people will suffer from poor mental health at some point in their life.

Local services

For people with mental health problems, the Sanctuary at the Mosaic Clubhouse provides a safe space in moments of crisis.

The Brixton Advice Centre provides support for a range of legal, financial and personal worries.

If you are experiencing mild to moderate depression, general anxiety and worry, panic attacks, social anxiety, traumatic memories and obsessive compulsive disorder you can self refer to Lambeth Talking Therapies online or phone 020 3228 6747.

You can use this map to find your nearest Talking Therapies location:

Help for suicidal thoughts

Help and support is available right now if you need it. You don't have to struggle with difficult feelings alone.

If you need immediate assistance:

Visit the NHS webpage on suicidal thoughts for more advice and information.

Worried someone else is suicidal?

If you're worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, try to encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. Listen to what they say and don't be judgemental.

Read more about the warning signs you should be aware of and how you can help someone with suicidal thoughts.

You can also complete this online training on suicide prevention.

2. Eating well

Are you struggling to get to the shops and, or prepare healthy meals for yourself at home?

There are many options available to help you overcome these difficulties.

Here are some suggestions on how you can continue to enjoy a healthy balanced diet even if you're no longer able to prepare a meal for yourself.

Kitchen equipment

There are a range of kitchen and feeding aids that can help you.

These aids are important tools for those with flexibility, mobility or physical dexterity issues.

They have been specially designed to help if you or a family member has a disability or health issues. Kitchen and feeding aids such as adapted knives and cutlery, along with non-spill feeding aids like cups and mug, plates and bowls can make a difference in allowing you to prepare food for yourself rather than relying on others to do it for you.

The following sites below may also be of use in obtaining the right kitchen aid and feeding aids suitable for you:

Ready meals

If you find it difficult to prepare hot meals but you're able to use an oven or microwave, you can consider buying ready meals. These meals come already made and simply need heating up in the cooker or microwave. They come chilled or frozen and you can buy them from any supermarket, online or even over the phone.

Ready meals cater for people with all dietary needs.

These include:

  • diabetic
  • low fat
  • low salt
  • low sugar
  • gluten free
  • vegetarian
  • Kosher
  • Halal
  • pureed
  • egg free.

Although ready meals can be very handy, you should always read the label to make sure you're maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.

The NHS has produced advice and tips to eat well for less.

Food delivered to your home

If you're having trouble getting out in the community, there are many ways to ensure that you can get food and other shopping essentials you need.

The Lambeth Age UK - myHOME service helps people aged over 50. This service can provide support with shopping and escorting to and from appointments as well as preparing light meals or snacks for Lambeth residents in need of this service.

The following companies offer special dietary cuisines for people with food allergies and intolerances and can deliver hot or frozen meals to your door.

  • Apetito can make daily home deliveries of either hot meals or meals for your freezer.
  • Wiltshire Farm Foods can deliver batches of frozen meals to your home on a regular basis and provide a wide variety of options for people with different tastes or dietary needs.
  • Oakhouse Foods provide a range of home-delivered frozen meals across the UK
  • Blue Mountain Foods specialise in Caribbean ready meals, with a minimum of 12 meals per order delivered to your door on a regular basis.

Another option is to use home delivery services provided by supermarkets.

Most of the big supermarkets have a shopping delivery service that you, your carer or a family member can access online:

Some local food shops will deliver food to your home for a small charge. Many local restaurants and takeaways also deliver food to your home. The big supermarkets will deliver for free if your order is over a certain amount.

Support with meals

If you're unable to heat up frozen meals yourself and you don't have access to someone to prepare your meals, you can request an assessment.

Food and poverty

Sadly, food poverty, social isolation and unemployment affects many people across the UK. Some people have limited funds to buy food for themselves and their loved ones.

If you find yourself in this situation, foodbanks may be able to help.

  • The Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK.

Other local foodbanks include:

3. Five ways to wellbeing

Five ways to wellbeing Research shows that there are five ways that can really boost your wellbeing. They're the wellbeing equivalent of ‘five fruit and veg’ a day.

These five ways - connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give - can help you to manage life’s ups and downs.

Try them, they can make a big difference.

Connect

Connect with the people around you, this can be your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or your local community.

Think of these as cornerstones of your life. Spend time developing these connections, they will sustain you.

More ideas for connecting:

  • call a friend or meet face to face, rather than using social media
  • put aside a few minutes to find out how someone really is
  • speak to someone new today
  • take the plunge, join a group or club.

Attend an event. Love Lambeth lists free social events happening across the borough. Age UK Lambeth lists free local events and groups for older people.

Be active

You don't have to go to the gym.

Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Do some gardening. Dance. Activity doesn’t need to be intense, even stretching can be effective.

Exercise is not just good for our physical health, it is also great for our mental wellbeing. It can help protect us against depression, low mood and anxiety.

Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

More ideas for being active:

How about walking? Walking is simple, free and clears your head. You just need a comfy pair of shoes.

If you want to walk with other people, join a local walking group.

Lambeth has a number of free outdoor gyms located on estates.

Try a new sport. We have leisure centres offering a range of sports facilities.

We have over 60 parks and children’s play areas.

Take notice

Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

Be curious. Note the changing seasons. Are you rushing through life without taking the time to notice things around you?

Savour the moment – whether you are walking somewhere, eating lunch or talking to friends. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness".

More ideas for taking notice:

  • when you are out and about, stop and look at the things you normally whizz by
  • eat slowly enjoying the taste of every mouthful
  • listen to some music
  • being mindful or noticing your thoughts and feelings, can be practised anywhere
  • try downloading the free app Headspace which makes meditation and mindfulness simple.

Keep learning

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence.

So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, figure out how to fix your bike or cook your favourite food.

Learning keeps us mentally healthy into older age.

More ideas for learning:

Give

Even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word for a friend or a stranger.

Things like volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing as well as helping you building new social networks, no matter what age you are.

More ideas for giving: