Summer Wellbeing Challenge 2016

The Summer Wellbeing Challenge is an online engagement activity run by Creativity Works, to encourage a month of creativity and to champion the arts as a means of staying mentally healthy.

Each week in August had a different theme and a list of suggested activities.  You could choose one (or more) of the activities to engage with or come up with some ideas of your own linked to the theme.

Week 1 – Connect

The focus of the first week was to connect with people.  As I’m from New Zealand and live in the UK, I took this opportunity to re-connect with friends at home by sending a selection of postcards.

Selection of postcards from the V&A and Churchill's War Rooms

Selection of postcards from the V&A and Churchill’s War Rooms

Week 2 – Be Active

Small amounts of exercise have a great impact on your mood, and enhance mental wellbeing as well as the more obvious physical benefits.  I know this from first hand experience when a friend introduced me to running as a recent young widow in 2008.  Since then I’ve run many half marathons and still benefit from the meditative and mind calming effects of running.

Entrance to Ashton Court, photo taken while out running

Entrance to Ashton Court, photo taken while out running

Week 3 – Take Notice

The theme this week was all about slowing down and noticing things around you.  I ventured into Leigh Woods for a couple of hours and definitely enjoyed taking time to notice my surroundings.

Week 4 – Keep Learning

The Week 4 theme focussed on the benefits of continual learning, and how this can lead to increases in confidence, resilience, self-esteem and satisfaction.  I’d read about the new exhibition, Red, at the Museum of East Asian Art so headed out one lunch time to see what I could learn.

MEAA-exhibition-banner-AW-02-1

Week 5 – Give

The final summer wellbeing challenge was to give, mainly time and attention although other ways of giving also make us feel good.  As I was getting ready to jet off on holiday, I cheated a wee bit on this one and quickly got together a few things and dropped them off at a local charity store.

round up

I enjoyed the challenge and, admittedly, most of the tasks I picked are things I do or aim to do regularly anyway.  Participating in the #summerwellbeing challenge was a good reminder about why these activities are important and why I should continue to make time for them day to day.

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