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Health and Happiness

Research shows that spending time in nature is excellent for both physical and mental wellbeing. Positive environmental actions are often simultaneously positive health actions too, such as active travel and gardening.

How to make a change

  • Replace short journeys with active methods of travel like walking or cycling. Accessing green space simultaneously, such as a local park, will be beneficial for mental health too.
  • Practice meditation or mindfulness. There are plenty of yoga and meditation groups in Birmingham to get you started, some of which offer free online sessions (have a look via EventBrite).
  • Follow a news site such as ‘Positive News’ for articles about good things happening around the world, for a break from the mainstream news channels and to help you deal with ‘eco-anxiety’.
  • Aim to eat a balanced and nutritious diet, including all 5 foods groups. Current recommendations suggest that a person’s plate should contain primarily vegetables and fruits, some lean protein, some dairy (although a nutritionally balanced vegan diet is entirely possible!), and soluble fibre.
  • Getting enough sleep is essential for being healthy and happy. Most adults need 7 or more hours of good-quality sleep a night. Younger people need even more than this.
  • Aim for around 30 minutes of moderate activity daily for good physical and mental health.

Example Actions

  • Exercise for (x) minutes (x) times a week (as a starting point)
  • Use the free trial on the Headspace app to try meditation
  • Cook (x) vegan meals a week
  • Subscribe to ‘Positive News’

Useful Links

ecobirmingham offer cycle tuition, including cycling ability, route-finding, bike maintenance and led rides. Access our ‘Secret Birmingham’ cycle-friendly routes for all abilities linking key heritage sites around the city, or our green space litter picking trails on our website. Take a look at our projects here:

Headspace have a library of mindfulness and meditation tools. There are free trials available to start, as well as articles introducing you to meditation, sleep, stress and mindfulness.

Have a look at Global Action Plan’s ‘Clean Air Hub’ for information and advice on clean air.

The Hub of Hope by mental health charity Chasing the Stigma allows you to find services for mental health support services.

Mind have information and advice on mental health, and crisis helplines for those in need.

Sign up for Birmingham’s ‘Be Active’ scheme, which offers free activities like swimming. If you are eligible, sign up for the ‘Passport to Leisure’ scheme, which entitles you to 20% off leisure activities.

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) have a range of different free programmes including Birmingham ‘Active Parks’ with activities including walking, running and exercise classes.

Our Parks offer free exercise classes across the UK.

Birmingham cookery classes: Harborne Food School. / Loaf. / Tan Rosie. / The Spice Club.

Positive News is a news site dedicated to sharing positive and uplifting stories. Traditional news sites often have their own ‘good news’ sections too.

EventBrite have a huge listing of Birmingham events, some of which you can attend for free.

Download an Action Plan so you can set your own goals!

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