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.
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.
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.
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.
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.