The EIS ‘Our Well-being Matters Programme’ was launched in February 2021, and explored various aspects of well-being from a range of perspectives, from creative writing, to human rights-based approaches. Here we highlight two areas that are as relevant to our well-being today as they have been over the past 18 months. For more on well-being tools, tips, and learning, please regularly visit the programme page:

Digital Well-being

Now that our working days include less screen time, and our personal time can be filled with such delights as seeing family and friends in person, and travelling across the country and beyond, understandably, focusing on our digital well-being might seem less important. However, think back to the last time a digital device was more than an easy reach away from you. Those days feel like they’re in the past now, with smartphones, iPads and laptops featuring daily in our work-lives and in our home-lives. Whilst they have their parts to play in assisting us in the many aspects of our lives, it’s important that we keep them in their places!

Here we have four top tips for digital well-being, provided by Digital Skills Education, which use features already available on your digital devices.

1. Use “Do Not Disturb”on your phone.
This feature stops your phone from alerting you of notifications. This is a good feature to use when you want to focus on something: like heading into a meeting, writing a report, or doing something that needs concentration.

2. Use “Focus Assist” on your laptop.
There is a button at the bottom right of the screen to turn this on. As soon as you finish working, a summary of notifications and alerts appears on your screen – so you won’t miss anything important.

3. Tame your notifications.
Both iPhones and Android phones have features that let your apps have less distracting or disturbing notifications.

4. Have your phone text people back when driving.
A really important time when you won’t want to be distracted is when you’re driving. You can have your iPhone act as a personal assistant that texts people back automatically. This feature also works on some Android phones.

Learning and Well-being

How many of us signed up for courses and workshops online over the past 18 months, because we could attend from the comfort of our own homes, with a cup of tea and biscuit in hand? The number and range of courses available to us has become immense, and here is why it is important to continue an interest in learning.

The New Economic Foundation’s Five Ways to Well-being suggests learning is one of the five a day, like an apple a day is for our physical health. Learning something new, or rediscovering a skill helps us have a feeling of achievement, which in turn helps build self-confidence and a positive sense of well-being.

What Works Well-being highlights the links between the social aspects of learning and our overall well-being, regardless of whether learning is face to face or online.

The EIS delivered a well-being focused online seminar at the 2021 Scottish Learning Festival, bringing together learning, engaging online, and well-being. You can view the recording alongside other resources on the continuing Our Well-being Matters Programme: