Cardiff Half Marathon

As part of the 2022 #ChooseYou campaign, Cardiff University are exploring self-care and the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ – all relevant to running and the journey to the Cardiff Half start line.

Take a look at the content below, or go back to our summary page to explore other topics.


Human beings have a powerful altruistic instinct. We like to do things for other people, a character trait that has often been on display during the Covid crisis. This instinct was also notable as the crisis in Ukraine mounted. People want to feel part of something and connected to the world around them. When we Give, we feel closer to others, just as they feel closer to us. It is important for our sense of wellbeing.

Giving takes us out of ourselves for a while. It connects us to others and to greater causes. Seeing yourself, and your wellbeing and happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and will create connections with the people around you, connections that have a powerful influence on wellbeing, yours and the people you’re giving to.

Cardiff University understands this: its civic mission is to put its communities at the heart of everything it does. With a specific focus on future generations, the University has long appreciated the benefits of helping others, including its support of the Cardiff Half Marathon. It is determined to be a force for good in rescuing, reviving and renewing the hopes of the Welsh nation.

You can play a part too.

Practicing Give, one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, as part of your self-care toolkit, can generate feelings of happiness and life satisfaction and even a greater sense of purpose. It helps create positive feelings and a sense of reward. Evidence from neuroscience suggests that the ‘reward’ area of our brain is activated when we give, meaning we intrinsically experience good feelings in the process. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness – a Give activity – once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.

Giving is also contagious. People who are given to are more likely to ‘pay it forward’ and give to others. There is a ripple affect on wellbeing.

Giving can also present a ‘big picture’ perspective, helping us think about others and see our concerns for what they are.

And there are all kinds of ways to Give. Materials things like money and food donations, or immaterial offerings like your time, skill, and knowledge. Give can be small acts of kindness, or larger ones like volunteering with organisations and in your community.

There are lots of ways in which you can Give. Here are just a few examples:

  • Commit a small act of kindness
  • Say thank you for something someone has done for you
  • Ask friends, family or colleagues how they are and actively listen to their reply
  • Spend time with people who need support or company
  • Offer to help someone with a task, some DIY, a work project or other
  • Volunteer in your community; in a school, hospital, care home, sports team, group or social initiative
  • Donate unwanted goods
  • Express gratitude for the good things in your life

Go back to our summary page to explore other topics that are part of this series.

Join the conversation on social media. Share your own tips and experiences by using the hashtag #ChooseYou on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.