Intellectual wellbeing and COVID-19: supporting your intellectual wellness in 2 easy steps

Feeling intellectually demotivated, uninspired, struggling to concentrate?

Finding COVID and lockdown leaving you feeling flat and with creative block?

Read further to find out 2 ways to look after your intellectual wellness and wellbeing during this difficult and unpredictable time.

Hello all. Hope that you have been having a good week. If you have been following the Wellness by Greg blog, you will know that I have begun to explore wellbeing during COVID, with my previous blogs exploring emotional and social wellbeing. In this blog, I would like to follow on with the 8 points of focus, with the attention this time on intellectual wellbeing.

Person working on a laptop

What do we mean by intellectual wellbeing?

Intellectual wellness refers to active participation in scholastic, cultural, and community activities. It is important to gain and maintain intellectual wellness because it expands knowledge and skills in order to live a stimulating, successful life.

Geary, 2014

Having a healthy intellectual wellness and wellbeing is about having a good sense of self-awareness and being open to new experiences and acquiring new knowledge.

So how do we enhance our intellectual wellbeing? Well, here are five things you can try.

Number 1: Find a hobby

Painting equipment

Part of looking after one’s intellectual health and wellbeing is about finding an activity to focus on. Things such as puzzles, knitting, painting, cooking and creating a nee recipe, and other creative hobbies are helpful in occupying focus and giving you something to work and aim toward.

According to McCabe (2021), finding hobbies and establishing interests helps to combat against feelings of low mood. Losing interest and joy in activities can be a sign of poor mental health, and may bring along with it feelings of low mood, low motivation and depression. Finding an activity and interest may be a good way to support your mental health and wellbeing during COVID. If you are struggling though with feelings of low mood and depression, please seek help from a qualified medical professional.

Number 2: Learn something

Man reading a book

According to Geary (2014), there are many ways to increase and look after your intellectual wellness and wellbeing through learning. These include reading: debating with a friend or family member (but in a nice non-competitive way. Think of it as more of a conversation than a sparring match. On this point it may be good to choose someone who you know you can have a conversation with where you know you can debate in a civil manner); learn a new language; play some board games; learn to play a musical instrument.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can use ways of learning to improve your intellectual wellbeing.

Speaking from first hand experience, last year at the start of the pandemic, March 2020, I had just started a medical prescribing course. The course was quite intense and had me focused on a very clear educational goal. I passed the course, and looking back, a lot of the difficult times I found during the first lockdown, I was able to manage, as I will looking after my intellectual wellbeing.

That is not to say that it will be the same for you, and that is not to say for you to go and do an intense study course if study is not your thing.

Work with what you are comfortable with and work your way up from there. If you find something you can enjoy, then you are half way there already.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and if you know of anyone who may benefit from / appreciate the blog, please recommend it to them as well. And if you are feeling low and struggling with your mental health, please know that during this difficult time of the pandemic, that there is still help out there and help available. Talk to your GP. Freephone Samaritans 116 123.

There is help out there. You are not alone.

Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely time wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. And others.

Greg

References:

Geary A. (2014). Eight simple steps to increase your intellectual wellness. Available: https://news.illinoisstate.edu/2014/03/seven-simple-steps-increase-intellectual-wellness/#:~:text=Intellectual%20wellness%20refers%20to%20active,live%20a%20stimulating%2C%20successful%20life. Last accessed 5th April 2021.

McCabe C. (2021). Why hobbies can improve our mental health. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/health_and_wellbeing/why-hobbies-help-mental-health-b1801563.html. Last accessed 4th April 2021.

A bit about the author:

I am a guy who just over 40, who is sharing a journey of wellness and wellbeing. I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders. 

Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.

I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders. 

In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course, and in 2020 I commenced further training in Nurse Prescribing to train toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and will be looking forward to supporting those in the community with mental health support and medicinal support.

In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. Don’t think of me as a motivational coach or speaker. Think of me more as a wellness guide, as I use my mental health training and experience to suggest and advice ways to enhance your wellness and wellbeing. If you are struggling with your mental health though, please seek advice from a medical professional such as your GP.

I believe that it is a journey. It is a process. It will take time. But we will get there.

Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely time wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. And others.

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