Those little day to day things
As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) this week, we decided to revisit our recent Instagram series of practical mindfulness tips and tricks.
The aim of the campaign, which was supported by Gwynedd Community Artswas to respond directly to conversations we had with our Young Company during COVID – discussing the over-thinking, the conventional ways of coping and more practical and accessible ways of exercising the brain. The ‘real’ tips that people use.
Instagram offered itself perfectly as a channel to share the information – how do we make challenging subjects more accessible, and how do we make mindfulness an everyday exercise rather than this big, clumsy regime that no one actually follows.
The week was co-ordinated by Sophie Ann who is part of the meddwl.org team. Sophie is a passionate advocate of mental health and wellbeing who’s currently researching the subject as part of an MA course.
“Often when we think about mindfulness we have a tendency to think about yoga, self-help books and meditation. Whilst all these can be very beneficial I think that mindfulness is much more than that, and we can do it with very little effort.
“I wanted to explore the day to day things we can all try and enjoy, and recognise the positive effect our hobbies and interest can have.
Sophie wanted to appeal to those young people who won’t practice activities such as yoga, and show them that their normal day-to-day activities can be super beneficial for their mental health.
To make the campaign easier to follow, each day was themed into:
“Looking after plants has become very popular during lockdown so Adam (@adamynyrardd) and Naomi Saunders (@naomigrows) shared their plant growing and experimenting tips – and how they can help us slow down, be present in the moment, and learn how to manage when things don’t go to plan.
“They are both so passionate about the benefits of gardening if was a perfect fit.
“When we wanted to focus on creativity we asked the artist Anna Gwenllian to take part. She is a multimedia artist that works with all sorts of things including highlighters, colored pencils, pens and paint. She shared some amazing tips and some mesmerizing time-lapses of her painting.
“I felt like that made the activity more accessible somehow, not everyone has paint in the house but I’m sure we can all find old pens or highlighters!”
“Digital health didn’t follow the naturalistic theme of the others but it’s one we couldn’t ignore. We didn’t focus so much on the activities, but rather on avoiding habits that can have a negative effect.
“It was essential that the advice we shared came from an expert so we asked Erin (@mentalhealthcoach) to co-ordinate the day.
Digital mental health is one of the main challenges Erin encounters everyday when talking to young people at work.
YOUNG COMPANY RECLAIMING
“Frân Wen Young Company had been involved in planning the content for the week but it was important they had real ownership so they took over on the final day. I’m delighted because their contribution was truly inspiring. ”
“Looking back on the series, we hope we showed that nobody can define the mindfulness activities that will work for you. It can be anything and it can be fun.”