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.

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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.

shiftWorks at Bruton Museum

The next venue in the shiftWorks line up is Bruton Museum.  The exhibition will be open from Saturday 3 September through to Saturday 29 October and is free to attend.

The Private View will take place on the opening day, from 12-2pm.  This will be an opportunity to ‘meet the makers’ as well as view the exhibition.  You can register your interest in attending on the seam Facebook page.

Shiftworks landscape

The shiftWorks project is a celebration of 50 years of the shift dress by seam textile collective. The collective have received Arts Council funding to showcase their various textile disciplines by using the shift dress as a canvas for their ideas.

Bath Bike Trail

The Tour of Britain cycle race starts next month and Stage 5 will finish in Bath on 8 September. To welcome the Tour to Bath, the #BathBikeTrail has been created with red, white and blue bikes on display around Bath from 18 August.

To encourage people to engage with the #BathBikeTrail and explore new parts of the city, a trail map has been produced which shows where the bikes are and how you can share your pictures on social media (free trail maps are available from the Visitor Information Centre or download it here). The #BathBikeTrail map has a list of bike venues, as well as showing them on the map, so you can tick off the ones you’ve found.

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Crochet tricycle, by Emma Leith

Local artist Emma Leith has created a number of crocheted bikes that make up part of the trail. Emma’s colourful yarn bombed bikes are on display in Stall Street and Milsom Place and I went down today to have a look… you can’t miss the bikes, they’re in Emma’s distinct and unique style!!

Emma’s work is well known in Bath as she is the mastermind behind the Bath in Fashion yarn bomb each year, and runs a regular crochet group on the first Wednesday of each month at Carluccio’s.

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Crochet bike, by Emma Leith

Do have a go at the trail, the bikes are in some interesting venues around Bath and will only be on display for three weeks.  There are also some great prizes on offer from many of the businesses displaying the bikes, usually you just need to share a photo of you with the bike and tag the business in your tweet.

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Detail of crochet bike installation, by Emma Leith

Get involved and show your support by sharing your pictures on social media using the hashtag #BathBikeTrail and follow @love2cycleBath and @emmaleithbox on Twitter.