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Four Of The Best Mindful Experiences For Self Care

10 May 2024

Four Of The Best Mindful Experiences For Self Care

This coming week (May 13th - 19th) marks Mental Health Awareness Week. First started in 2001 by The Mental Health Foundation, it aims to get the whole of the UK together to focus on getting good mental health, tackling stigma, and helping people to understand and prioritise their mental well being and that of others as well.

Especially in recent years, it has become even more of a high profile campaign, as it has crossed over to numerous sectors of society, including the workplace, schools and further education, and it has also actively helped towards enacting changes in government policy and enabled mental health charities and organisations to come together for fundraising events.

First and foremost, it is continuing to drive and put pressure on change to ensure that the collective mental well being of the UK is kept as a high priority, to ensure that we live in a society that values and promotes good mental health for all.

Self care is undoubtedly at the heart of good mental wellbeing, as it helps to build resilience, but also promotes good mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. We have hand-picked four of our experiences that we offer which are best for practising a bit of self care…

Spending time out in nature is one of the most proven connectors to good mental health, and naturally promotes calmness and joy. And what could be a better way to do that than spending time out watching the wildlife with your friend or loved one, at the Cowdray Estate in West Sussex? The on-site rangers are very knowledgeable about where the ideal locations are to spot a lot of the native wildlife, including Roe deers, badgers, rabbits and hares, that are dotted around the 7,500 acre estate.

Another thing that spending time outdoors also promotes is a sense of creative reinvigoration. Which is why we think this half day photography session, exploring the stunning natural beauty of the Peak District National Park, should tick all the boxes - and give you a flair for taking time to capture spectacular views and surroundings on camera, all under the guidance of your session tutor, Alan, and learn more about capturing the vivid colours and textures of the environment.

Taking up a craft is something that brings a tremendous sense of good mental well-being for many different reasons, and crocheting is a great example of this. Not only does weaving yarn into intricate patterns to produce everything from granny squares to scarves to soft toys keep your mind active and busy, but there are many local groups you can join, or it's a good activity to do with friends over a cup of tea or coffee, both of which bring about a great sense of community and combating isolation and loneliness. And this workshop based in Harrow-on-the-Hill in North London is perfect even if you've had no experience with crocheting before, so it's the perfect introduction for novices.

If you think it's a set of pencils and a sketch pad that you might be more handy with than a crochet hook, then this eight part online course, delivered by skilled urban sketcher and artist Ian Fennelly, could be for you. Learning a new skill brings about a great deal of personal satisfaction - a good booster for mental well being - and what's great about this course is that you can do it at home, you have lifetime access to all the resources, and you can learn at your own pace, as you master sketching and painting urban landscapes and capturing architectural and rural elements in your urban surroundings on paper.

What activities do you do that benefit your mental health? Let us know on our social media channels, and we'll share some of the best ones over the coming week.

Remember, if you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone and there is help available. We've included a list below of some organisations you can reach out to for help and support.

  • Samaritans - call 116 123 for free in confidence, 24 hours a day, or email [email protected]
  • Give Us A Shout - text SHOUT to 85258 for free, confidential support 24/7
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) - call the CALM helpline for free on 0800 58 58 58 or use their Webchat service, open from 5pm - midnight, 365 days a year
  • Mind - call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393, open from 9am - 6pm, Monday - Friday (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably)
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