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4. Take notice

Taking notice, being aware and mindful is associated with improved mental health and wellbeing.

Mental wellbeing is about feeling good about yourself, the world around you and being able to get on with life in the way you want.

Most of us are fairly busy and our mind is active throughout the day. We approach life by focusing on the next step or the next task in hand, various things that need to be sorted, project deadlines to be met, unpaid bills, phone calls we need to make and appointments we need to keep etc. We often find ourselves ‘juggling’ these many tasks at the same time.

When we complete all the things on our ‘to do’ list, we then may sit down and watch our favourite programmes, go online and browse social media or ‘chill out’. However, when we carry out these tasks we are often lost in our own thoughts.

Most importantly we usually forget to take notice, to be aware and mindful of our surroundings, to be alert and awake rather than lost in thought or forgetful of where we are and what is happening around us.

How you can take notice

To take notice is to pause, even if for a brief period, to spend some time in silence and reflect on your experiences. Catch sight of the beautiful. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, taking time to eat lunch or talking to friends.

If you have 5 minutes you could:

  • Bring the outdoors indoors – get some greenery for your home or desk
  • Think about meditating. Meditation is a great way to focus on you and ‘be present’ without thoughts of daily tasks – Headspace is an online resource that will guide you through some mediation techniques, just visit:
  • Take a new photograph each day, focus on capturing what is right in front of you
  • Listen to a new piece of music and focus on your thoughts about it

If you have half an hour you could:

  • Try a longer meditation method. Headspace has hundreds of themed sessions on everything from stress and sleep to focus and anxiety
  • ‘De-clutter’ – your workspace or an area in your house. Removing unnecessary items and mess can help us clear our minds too

If you have an hour or more you could:

  • Go for a Walk – Discover the ‘Let’s Go for a Walk’ brochures for parks and greenspaces across the borough. Take your time following the routes and pay attention to the parks, woodland sounds and canals around your local area. To download the brochures visit

Every day, try to make some time to reflect on the natural beauty and be aware of your surroundings.