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6 Ways to Wellbeing

We have pulled together a selection of activity ideas that you can do in each of the 6 ways to Wellbeing, Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give and Self Care. The 5 Ways to Wellbeing was developed by the New Economics Foundation in 2008 with the aim of improving the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population. We have added a sixth way, Self Care, as we think that practicing self care is extremely important, and even more so in the current circumstances.

The list below outlines the activities and apps we are currently offering and suggesting, as well as information on how you can access them from home. We are always open to activity suggestions, and even more so in this current situation! So, if there is an activity you would like to see on the webpages or if you have any other ideas around health and wellbeing please let us know! You can email

Please do prioritise your wellbeing during this difficult time and make sure to speak to your manager or our staff advice line and counselling service, Health Assured, if you are struggling.



With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Wellbeing Hub

Developing an online wellbeing hub provides opportunities for staff to connect, take time out to support their own wellbeing and contribute to wellbeing ideas and activities for themselves and colleagues.

For ease we have created a step by step guide of how to set up a wellbeing hub for your own team or department which is available here.

If having read this guidance you have any questions or would value seeing a live demo of a prototype hub, please email

screenshot of wellbeing hub with images of fitness ideas

Book Club

It is important to not become socially isolated whilst we are social distancing. Joining the Staff Book Club through one of their virtual google hangouts is a great way to keep connected with colleagues.

This month’s book: Paper Dolls by Lisa Bradley. Lisa Bradley will be joining the group to discuss the book and take any questions. Lisa works in the Department of Journalism and Paper Dolls is her first published novel.

When? Wednesday 22 September at 12:15 - 13:00

How? Email Book Club staff leader Karen Beck at for the link to the Google Meet.

image of books on shelves

Hello from Home

It can be difficult to connect with colleagues when we are working remotely.

A Hello from Home video with video clips, photos or messages can be a great way to see what your colleagues have been up to while working from home.

If you want some inspiration, please watch IT Services Hello from Home here.

graphic image of 3 people talking with speech bubbles

Staff Networks

Staff networks are run by staff for staff and bring together people from all faculties, departments and services that identify with the group.

The networks fulfil various aims including providing opportunities for social interaction, peer support and personal development.

A volunteer-led Cancer Support Group has also recently been created to provide mutual support for staff who have had a cancer diagnosis and for those whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

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The Sound of Colleagues & I Miss the Office

If you are missing the usual sounds of an office you are not alone! These sites allow you to recreate some of those sounds at home and can be quite soothing to have on in the background while working.

Please visit The Sound of Colleagues or I Miss the Office.

A Screenshot of the Sound of Colleagues Website

Coffee Roulette

Mainting 1:1 connections with colleagues you might not usually work with can be difficult, so why not set Coffee Roulette up in your department?

The premise is that each month collegaues who want to join in get randomly paired up with another colleague to have a 15 minute virtual coffee break. They have until the end of the month to organise this before they get repaired up with another colleague. You could also recommmend some conversation starters so no-one runs out of things to talk about!

a photo of a laptop and cup of coffee and a person using a phone

Online Multiplayer Games

Playing games online can be a great way to stay connected with friends while doing a fun activity.

Most of the classic card games and board games have been converted so that you can do them online. Some of our favourites are Drawasaurus, Monopoly, Uno, Scrabble, Heads Up and Yahtzee.

Image of boardgame

Virtual Lunches and Coffee Breaks

If you are missing spending time with your colleagues and catching up over your lunch break or while making a cup of tea, why not set up virtual weekly lunches or coffee breaks?

You could think of some talking points in advance or just let the conversation flow.

and image of a screen with a video call

Be Active

Be Active

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

NHS Fitness Studio

The NHS Fitness Studio has a wide range of online exercise videos.

Including, sitting exercises for those who would like a less intense workout, postnatal exercises and workouts specifically designed for those with health problems - there's something for everyone!

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Remedy Physio are offering free ten minute phone calls for University of Sheffield staff, as well as online video consultations.

This, along with the Health & Safety Guidance on Working Remotely, that you can find here, will be useful for anyone who is experiencing aches and pains due to not working in their usual environment.

Please see Remedy Physio’s website here or call 0114 276 1997.

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We've partnered up with Sport Sheffield to be able to offer all University Staff free access to Revitalised!

Revitalised gives you access to a fantastic resource to assess your wellbeing, find advice and tutorials as well set goals and as track your progress as you make positive changes in your life.

How? After you have logged into Muse click on My Services - Staff Wellbeing - Wellbeing Zone (or visit and create an account. To register you will need to use our activation code 'SSWZ1’.

Revitalised Wellbeing Checker

Sport Sheffield Facebook Live Classes

Sport Sheffield are continuing to offer FREE Facebook Live classes throughout the week on their Sport Sheffield Facebook page.

To join, simply "like" the Sport Sheffield page on Facebook. At the time of the class, the live video will appear on the page. You will get a notification of this.

Classes are available to view for a week afterwards.

Sport Sheffield Facebook Live Timetable


Yoga is an excellent way to relax during a stressful day and can really benefit your mental health, it also has many physical benefits such as strength and flexibility. Yoga may also help to relieve any aches you may be experiencing from working in a different environment!

Please see here for a range of classes from our Juice instructor Hilary and suggestions from staff members.

woman in childs pose

The Body Coach P.E Lessons

Joe Wicks', a.k.a The Body Coach, is running his famous P.E lessons again in this lockdown!

These 30 minute workouts are an excellent way to keep kids active and is a good workout for adults too. A great way to start your day!

How? Visit The Body Coach YouTube channel here to watch workout videos, including low-impact sessions.

Parent exercise

Jennis Fitness

This free app from Jessica Ennis has lots of work out videos, and is especially tailored for post and pre pregnancy fitness.

Check out the Jennis website here or download the app on your mobile or tablet.

Cartoon of a pregnant woman doing yoga

Bootcamp/Pilates/Cardio HIIT

Sport Sheffield instructor Stacey Jacques usually runs 3 staff wellbeing classes every week.

Whilst this is not currently possible, Stacey is posting daily live workout videos!

You can follow along on Stacey's Facebook page here.

Image of Stacey Jacques logo

Take Notice

Take Notice

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation and Mindfulness have a variety of uses. They can be a great way to relax and destress, can increase our awareness and ability to accept and can also be used to improve focus and concentration!

Please see here for a range of options from our Yoga instructor Hilary and other recommended online resources.

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Daily Calm - 10 minutes to be present

This practice has been created by those behind the Calm App. Its a great 10 minute meditation that moves you away from worrying about the past or the future and aims to ground you in the present moment.


Practicing gratitude can help improve your mental health and boost your relationships and connections to others.

Practicing gratitude can include being more mindful to say thank you to others, taking more notice of the good things that others do for you and on your behalf, and keeping a gratitude journal to consciously note down the things that you are grateful for everyday.

For more tips on how to practice gratitude, please visit Mindful.


Grounding is a particular type of coping strategy that is designed to "ground" you in, or immediately connect you with, the present moment.

Grounding techniques tend to focus on the senses, turning your attention to things that you can hear, see, touch, smell and taste. However, there are other techniques, such as playing a memory game or sitting with your pet that can also help ground you in the moment. For more techniques, please visit here

Energy Sources and Drains

It can be useful to think about the things you do in your life that give you energy and drain your energy and then consider how to incorporate more of the activities that give you energy into your day.

Common sources of energy include going for a walk, speaking with friends and family or discovering a new podcast or TV show that you enjoy. Common energy drains include checking social media too often, sleeping too much and negative relationships.

Forbes have put together a list of common energy drains that may be useful to look through to get you started.

30 Minute Body Scan

A body scan is a popular mindfulness meditation. Rather than solely focusing on the breath to connect to the present moment, we can use sensations in our body to explore what is going on for us at any given time.

More on Mindfulness

To find out more on Mindfulness we recommend taking 10 to watch this fantastic Ted Talk by Andy Puddicombe, the founder of Headspace.

Keep Learning

Keep Learning

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.


The GROW Programme is a cross-University mentoring scheme for all professional services staff in the five faculties and across all central Professional Services departments.

The programme is aimed at helping staff to enhance skills, maximise potential, expand networks and consider career paths by working with others in the University.

For more information, please visit the Grow webpages here.

People Development

The Universities People Development team support staff in developing their own and others’ skills, behaviour and knowledge, to realise their potential and achieve individual, team and University ambitions.

The People Development team are currently running a series of 'How To' modules, including 'How To have a wellbeing conversation', 'How To ease the load' and 'How To support your own and others resiliance'. 

Please visit the People Development webpages for more information.

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Ted Talks

Ted Talks welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. They offer a range of video presentations, podcasts, books, blogs etc. around a huge variety of topics.

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LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning has over 4500 courses on topics in three main fields of study: Business, Creativity, and Technology. Business courses teach things like leadership skills, how to market a company or product, and how to manage a large, multi-person project. Please ensure you are logged into MUSE to access this service.

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Books and Podcasts

There is a wealth of information around health and wellbeing at our fingertips. We've put together a selection of our favourite podcasts, apps, videos, websites and books that are all geared towards impoving your wellbeing. Please visit the webpage here.

Image of person listening to a podcast


Working whilst taking care of family can be a daunting prospect and finding ways to keep children occupied when your usual sources of support may not be available can present another challenge for busy parents.

We have collated some useful sources of information on activity ideas, homeschooling resources and support, both within the University and the Sheffield area, to help support you and your family during the winter months.

Photo of boys playing outside

Sheffield Libraries

Reading can be a great distraction from the worries in our life and can help improve mental health. It also stimulates your brain, improving memory function and vocabulary!

You can join Sheffield Libraries for free and use their eLibrary to download a wide variety of books. Please visit Sheffield Libraries website here and click on ‘Apply to Join a Library’.

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Inox Recipes

Inox, the University’s own restaurant and event space, is sharing daily, delicious recipes that you can create at home!

Cooking can be a distraction from worries, a way to help you feel productive and a fun thing to do with loved ones. Follow Inox’s Facebook page to see their daily recipes on your newsfeed.

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Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Become a Wellbeing Champion

Give time to your department - become a Wellbeing Champion.

Champions will have a key role in reducing the stigma associated with mental health at the University of Sheffield and encouraging staff to feel confident to speak about their own personal experiences.

For more information about the scheme, please visit our webpages here.

Wellbeing Champions title

Give Time to Others

Giving your time to others at work can include checking in on colleagues, helping to create a culture of openeness and respect, and setting up opportunities for connection.

For more ideas on how you can give your time to others, please check out the activity ideas in the Connect tab.


VAS (Voluntary Action Sheffield) has provided support and leadership for the voluntary sector for over 90 years.

They focus on community impact, influence decision makers and champion volunteering as a force for positive action.

Voluntary Action Sheffield is also a great place to look for volunteering opportunities in Sheffield. 

VAS logo

NHS Volunteer Roles

There are various roles that are part of the NHS Volunteer Responders programme. All volunteer roles have been developed to ensure that volunteers can help local communities wherever they can during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Kindness and Compassion

Take action and carry out a random act of kindness for someone else. Research shows that helping others can be beneficial to our own mental health.

For random acts of kindness ideas, please visit the Mental Health Foundation.

A photo of the bandstand in weston park

Self Care

Self Care

Self Care is simply about making good choices for your health and prioritising you. Take time for yourself. Do things that make you feel good. Make sure you get enough sleep. Eat in a way that makes you feel good and fuels your body.

Coping Calendar

Action for Happiness have created a coping calendar with 30 suggested actions to look after ourselves and each other as we face this global crisis together.

Download the calendar here and for 30 days follow along with their suggested self-care actions.

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NHS Your Mind Plan

The NHS Every Mind Matters site is a great place to find resources to support your wellbeing.

The Every Mind Matters ‘Your Mind Plan’ quiz can help to find tailored resources to suit you.

The quiz consists of 5 quick questions and provides you with simple, helpful resources to boost your wellbeing based on your answers to the questions.

yellow thought bubble with 'every mind matters' in blue inside


The NHS How to Get to Sleep pages have lots of information on the common reasons for tiredness, fatigue and struggling to get to sleep, as well as tips on how you can improve your sleep. For quick tips, please check out the below infogram.

A list of tips for better sleep


The NHS Eat Well pages have lots of information about eating well, how to get enough of the different food groups in your diet and digestive health. There are also lots of recipes and food tips such as 'Tips for Eating a Lower Salt Diet' and 'Health Food Swaps'.

image of sharing food for march bitesize

NHS Mental Health Wellbeing Audio Guides

These guides by Dr Chris Williams can help boost your mood with tips on issues such as anxiety, sleep problems and low confidence.

The Guides are available on the NHS website here.

Image of person listening to a podcast

Health Assured

You can access help and support for you and immediate family members through our free confidential helpline and counselling service, from the independent external provider Health Assured. Through the service you can access practical help, information, advice and support to address and resolve problems and issues you may be facing at home or at work. For more information, please visit our webpage here.

Health Assured also produce monthly webinars and newsletters around a range of wellbeing topics that you can access through the Health Assured portal (username: Sheffield, password: University).

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Back Care

Your back takes a lot of strain and stress at work and out of work. To help improve back care and prevent back pain, please check out our back care guidance here.

Image of a person with back pain on a blue background


When you are feeling anxious, worried, or in crisis, playing games can act as a distraction from what is going on.

Mind have put together a collection of online games and puzzles that have been recommended by their service users. Visit Mind's website here.

Image of boardgame


We've partnered up with Sport Sheffield to be able to offer all University Staff free access to Revitalised!

Revitalised gives you access to a fantastic resource to assess your wellbeing, find advice and tutorials on things like sleep and nutrition, as well set goals and track your progress as you make positive changes in your life.

How? After you have logged into Muse click on My Services - Staff Wellbeing - Wellbeing Zone (or visit and create an account. To register you will need to use our activation code 'SSWZ1’.

Revitalised Wellbeing Checker

The Power of Vulnerability

This Ted Talk, from Dr Brené Brown, explores the power of vulnerability.

The real reason why we are tired and what to do about it

This Ted Talk, by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, explores the different types of rest that we all need.

There's More to Life Than Being Happy

This Ted Talk, from Emily Esfahani Smith, explores the difference between being happy and having meaning.