Ways of WellBeing

RMIT’s Ways of WellBeing is a science-based model of protecting and maintaining your wellbeing, built on research and evidence about what kinds of behaviours help people be well.

Participating in the ways means including actions and activities in your life that may help improve or maintain wellbeing, build resilience, and lower your risk of experiencing mental health challenges. You may already be doing things that are aligned with the ways – and you may have even noticed that they improve your wellbeing.

Why the Ways of WellBeing?

Each of us have a role in looking after our own and each other's wellbeing, but it can be hard to know where to start. The ways aren’t about setting specific actions that people need to be doing – they’re about making sure that among all the things you do in life, you’re including something that moves you in those directions.

This means there are many different behaviours that might fall under each way of wellbeing – so there’s something for everyone! If you’re willing, you can experiment with some new activities to find out what works for you.

A shared responsibility

Mental health and wellbeing is important for life, study and work. As an organisation we are building a culture that fosters positive mental health and supports those in need. We have mapped out a Strategic Action Plan to build mental wellbeing.

Our plan addresses some of the organisational elements that influence student and staff health and wellbeing. It includes initiatives to assist us as individuals to take action too.

Background

RMIT’s Ways of WellBeing are an evolution of the Five Ways to Wellbeing model - developed by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on behalf of the Foresight Commission in the UK. The Five Ways model has been used by many organisations including the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the NZ Mental Health Foundation.

Read the NEF’s report on the Five Ways to Wellbeing

RMIT has developed the Ways of WellBeing model based the Five Ways, and on additional research into wellbeing over the last 15 years 1,2,3,4.

Being balanced

Compass illustration

Being balanced is about self-care and your values (knowing what’s important to you). This means resourcing your own needs, and working out who you want to be – now and in the future. These are just some of the ways you can take care of and be true to yourself:

  • Nourishing your body with food and care, your mind with experiences and creativity, and your spirit with meaning and values
  • Deciding for yourself what matters to you
  • Giving genuine feedback and striving for authenticity
  • Reaching out for help when you need it
  • Doing the things you have to do, in a way that aligns with your own values
  • Getting good sleep so you can keep doing what matters tomorrow
  • Pacing yourself to manage your energy, your time, or your financial circumstances
  • Accessing health care when your body or mind doesn’t feel right
  • Taking intentional steps to be the kind of person you want to be

Being grounded

Illustration of eye

Being grounded is about tuning in to what’s happening in the current moment. This means taking time to check in with yourself and your surroundings, appreciating the good stuff and seeking out what resonates with you. These are just some of the ways you can bring your attention into the present moment:

  • Taking notice of your environment and how affects your inside world
  • Seeking out ways to feed your senses
  • Finding beauty in the everyday and the unusual
  • Slowing down and taking a breath before acting
  • Noticing changes in the seasons, in your surroundings, and in yourself
  • Savouring richness in normal activities - walking, eating or socialising
  • Tuning in to your senses for enrichment, understanding, or to see new opportunities
  • Working out what environments work for you
  • Reflecting on your experiences to recognise how you feel

Being curious

Illustration of flowers growing out of open book

Being curious is about feeding your mind by growing and expanding your knowledge and trying new things. It might mean stepping outside your comfort zone, your field of expertise, or studies – or delving deeper into something you’re already familiar with. These are just some of the ways you can create an opportunity for your curiosity to flourish and grow:

  • Trying something new
  • Rediscovering an old interest
  • Cultivating a mindset of discovery and exploration
  • Developing skills, learning languages, or being creative
  • Setting yourself a challenge, or recognising an achievement
  • Testing out a new recipe, style, or way of doing things
  • Learning through study, work, life, successes, or setbacks
  • Exploring the edges of your comfort zone
  • Seeking new experiences for learning, or to build your confidence

Being active

Hare and birds circling sun illustration

Being active means using your body in ways that help you now and for the rest of your life. You can work up a sweat or do something gentle – even seated or lying down! Movement can benefit your body and wellbeing now and for the rest of your life. These are just some of the ways you can maintain your body and encourage it to be well:

  • Walking, running, strolling, or hiking
  • Yoga, stretching, or dancing
  • Riding a bike or a wave
  • Playing a game or building a routine
  • Gardening, visiting a local park, or heading out of the city
  • Getting your feet in the ocean, on the pavement, or on Country
  • Exercising for fitness or for endorphins
  • Joining a team, a class, or going it alone
  • Discovering physical activity that you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness

Being connected

Illustration of owl and birds

Being connected is about building and maintaining connections with other humans. This means making friends, staying in touch with family, and having positive relationships with the people you work and study with. It doesn’t have to be in-person and it doesn’t have to be a big group – any human-to-human connection can nourish our brain and wellbeing. Here are just some of the ways you can invest in building and strengthening connections:

  • Engaging with the people around you
  • Seeing the good in people
  • Investing time in developing social connections at home, at work,at school or in your local community
  • Spending time with friends, family, colleagues or neighbours
  • Trying to find common ground when there's a clash or a misunderstanding
  • Finding others who share your passions
  • Learning from people who have different life experiences
  • Recognising that everyone is worthy of dignity and respect
  • Having people who care about your successes and your difficult times, and having opportunities to show others you care too

Being thoughtful

Hand holding heart illustration

Being thoughtful is about contributing to your places – the communities and the environments you spend time in. It’s about being part of something bigger – giving back, participating, supporting others, and taking care of the natural world, and about being intentional about your actions and their impacts. These are just some of the ways you can be part of something bigger:

  • Doing something nice for a friend, or for a stranger
  • Nurturing the natural world
  • Understanding the needs and rights of others
  • Building an appreciation of the places we live in, and their histories
  • Giving back to the communities you're part of, or making a new one
  • Putting your into time a cause you care about
  • Contributing research, technologies or processes to a body of knowledge or to the world
  • Taking actions to change parts of your context that don't sit well with you
  • Exploring how your happiness is linked to state of the world around you, and to the people in it
  • Being thoughtful means working to make your community and environment a better place, while being intentional about your actions and their impacts

With thanks to Flinders University and Flinders University Student Association’s for illustrations from the Good Vibes Experiment.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.