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Supporting You – Weekly Wellbeing Tips

Our Wellbeing team has launched its Weekly Wellbeing Tips. Each tip provides a simple way to help maintain your mental wellbeing during these uncertain times. We will be sharing the Weekly Tips across our social media channels so do keep an eye out, and let us know what you think.

Week One – Mindful Walking/ Mindful Sitting,

Watch the video here, or at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW8a1nTAbnM&t=108s

Week Two – Keeping Active

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivtf9jl35UQ&t=2s 

Week Three – Music for Wellbeing

Read all about this week’s Tip here. Then, we invite you to share with us two or three songs that hold special meaning to you. Please send the song titles with a sentence or two to explain their significance in your life to creativearts@peacehospicecare.org.uk. We will then compile a playlist with everyone’s submissions to share with you all in the coming week.

Week Four – Keeping Connected

Read all about this week’s Tip here. Making sure to keep connected with other people is so important during this challenging time – sending messages, emails and texts, making phone calls, listening to the radio, video chats and virtual quizzes with friends and family. Our volunteer Ian has kindly put together two ‘Lockdown Quizzes’ to get you started: Quiz 1 & Quiz 2.

Week 5 – Mindful Baking

Baking is a wonderful way to express creativity, be present in the moment and release stress during a difficult time.  Following a recipe requires a great deal of attention – focusing on weighing, measuring and following each step – and can be a wonderful form of mindfulness. The benefits of practising mindfulness have become quite popular and well known in recent years. It has been proven to help reduce stress and increase positive feelings and happiness. Taking your time to focus on the variety of smells and tastes while baking can be calming and help you relax. 

Linda who owns The Kitchen in Croxley has been a wonderful supporter of ours over the years. She has kindly shared a few of her famous recipes to get us started: Sticky Toffee and Salted Caramel Loafkins, Gluten Free Salted Caramel Brownies and A Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake.

You can find more of her delicious treats here: https://www.thekitchencroxley.co.uk/

Week 6 – Music for Wellbeing

Following on from our Week 3 ‘Music and wellbeing’ tip, we would like to thank everyone who sent in songs for our ‘lockdown playlist’.

We have compiled the submissions and created a playlist that can be accessed by clicking the following link. Please note that if you do not already have a Spotify account, you will need to create one to listen (it’s free):  https://open.spotify.com/user/n0iaihnw6vldp2tonnmius3jd/playlist/1JR6EI2UsJdeHAFB9EyVC8?si=G9JHY727Qfy-WQHnoU_zkQ

Read more about the playlist and the songs within it here.

Week 7 – Relaxation

This week we have a relaxation technique from our physiotherapist, Katherine. The aim of this mindfulness technique is to take approximately 5 minutes (but you can spend more time than this depending on how relaxing you find it) focusing on each of the 5 senses – what you can see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Try to spend at least 5 minutes on each of the senses either keeping your eyes open or closed – depending on which feels most comfortable for you. Read the tip here.

Week 8 – Virtual Garden Tours

Macmillan has developed a unique partnership with the National Garden Scheme to help raise awareness of the impact of gardens on health. For individuals finding lockdown difficult, gardens can be a place of solace and relief to help improve mental and physical wellbeing. And for those of us without an outdoor space, virtual garden tours of some of the finest gardens in England and Wales can provide a glorious escape (click the bold writing  to be taken to the webpages). By clicking these links, you will be able to take a visit to a variety of beautiful gardens, including a few from the Chelsea Flower Show’s top designers. You will also find videos of inspirational garden transformations and a variety of other tips and tutorial videos.

There is also the opportunity to sign up to the National Garden Scheme’s weekly newsletter for advice on how to deal with lawn weeds to what to plant in window boxes. Weekly content will provide you with seasonal gardening tips, stories and virtual tours straight to your inbox.

Week 9 – Tips for Better Sleep

We all have evenings when we find it hard to fall asleep or we wake up in the night. You may find this is happening more often during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, mentally and physically, so it’s important to get enough.

The advice you’ll find on the following website is a good way to get you thinking about your sleep and what may be stopping you from sleeping well. There are some simple steps you can take to make a change, including a guided progressive muscle relaxation and a video to help manage worries and re-frame unhelpful thoughts that may be keeping you awake: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-how-to-fall-asleep-and-sleep-better/#

If your difficulty sleeping persists and you are unclear of what is causing your tiredness or sleep challenges, please get in touch with your GP.

 

Week 10 – Virtual Concerts to you Living Room

With concerts and musicals cancelled and theatres closed due to Coronavirus, artists have had to get creative when it comes to finding an audience. Musicians, DJs and bands have live streamed performances online in an effort to fill the live entertainment void.

This week, we ask you to share with us a story or memory of a live performance that had a lasting effect on you. In the coming weeks we’ll share these and put together a playlist inspired by your submissions.

Week 11 – Gratitude

On challenging days, it can feel easier to focus on the negatives and what we feel we are missing from life. From being bombarded by adverts on the tv, or seeing someone else’s perfect life on social media, we are surrounded by images of what we don’t have. Taking the time to assess what we do have now can help us to refocus on the positives in our lives and give a more helpful perspective. Whether it’s expressing gratitude for a supportive neighbour, close friendship, or the relaxing sound of rainfall against your window, it all counts – nothing is too big or small.

For better health and happiness, why not try keeping a gratitude journal?

You could try this for 15 minutes per day, at least once per week, for at least two weeks. Studies suggest that writing in a gratitude journal three times per week might actually have a greater impact on our happiness than journaling every day.

How to do it

There’s no wrong way to keep a gratitude journal, but here are some general instructions as you get started…

  • Write down up to five things for which you feel grateful
  • The physical record is important—don’t just do this exercise in your head
    The things you list can be relatively small in importance (“The smell of your morning cup of coffee” or relatively large, “A new family member being born”)
  • The goal of the exercise is to remember a good event, experience, person, or thing in your life—then enjoy the good emotions that come with it.

Week 12 – Exercise from Home

This week’s tip can be watched here.

You will see some useful home exercises from our physiotherapist, Katherine. These exercises are designed to do around your home environment.

Please only do the exercises that you can safely carry out without causing any pain or discomfort, and without losing your balance. Aim to carry out the exercises that you can 5-10 times each, aiming for twice a day.

The support team is available at the Hospice on 01923 330 330, Monday – Friday

Week 13 – Quiz Time!

As our Lockdown Quizzes 1 & 2 were quite popular, our volunteer Ian has kindly put together a third, 40-question quiz to give you a challenge! See here for the questions, and if you would like the answers, please respond to this email and we will send them over.

As we are now meeting in small bubbles, how about holding a garden or park quiz on a sunny day?

Week 14 – Simple Hand Massage

This week’s tip comes from the therapies team at St Francis Hospice in Romford, Essex. In this short video, complementary therapist Sharon Williams gives families and carers instructions on how they can give their loved ones a relaxing hand massage. Watch here.

Week 15 – Joy Through Live Music

Music In Hospitals & Care have recently launched their #musiceveryday initiative and regular live streamed concert series, taking the opportunity to bring musicians from across the UK to people they couldn’t normally. You can join them at one of their virtual events and see their programme of live stream music sessions by clicking here: https://mihc.org.uk/news-events/events/

Week 16 – DIY Face Covering

The Government have announced that from today, 24th July, face coverings are to be made mandatory when entering shops and supermarkets.

The BBC have put together this handy guide with instructions on how to make your own face covering, including a no-sew bandana style, using an up-cycled old t-shirt and a simple design for hand or machine sewing.  They also provide helpful do’s and don’ts when wearing a face covering in order to maintain safety:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52609777. Please ensure you stay up to date with the latest Government guidance – visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Our creative arts volunteer, Lynn, has been busy at home sewing up some designs for her granddaughters. Here they are modelling her creations:

 

 

Week 17 – Virtual Travel

As travelling abroad may not be possible for most people this summer, Forbes has compiled 8 of the world’s most extraordinary, remote and inspiring places that are open to explore from the comfort of home. If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting one of the following destinations, follow the link for a virtual travel experience without the crowds, flights of costs: Antarctica, Galapagos Islands, Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, Northern Lights, Scottish Highlands, Machu Picchu, Great Pyramids of Giza. Click here to learn more. Happy travels!

 

Week 18 – Your Song Picks

As we begin to wrap up the last couple weeks of our ‘Weekly Wellbeing’ email series, reflecting on the power of music has been central to some of our weekly themes. Music has been a great inspiration to many throughout the past couple of months, including at this north London care home where residents recreated classic album covers to keep themselves occupied during the lockdown: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-53389217fbclid=IwAR23fZmAk3fsIy2yMUif1LrFFJcxUae2_tYqFeg5m95g3kFmPLOWX9dcUFY

Simon Buckmaster, an amateur sculpture from Felsham, Suffolk, was also inspired to create 3D pottery versions of classic album covers by The Beatles, Rolling Stones and more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-51197052

In keeping with the music theme, we would love to share a  ‘Lockdown Playlist No. 2’ on our last week of these emails. We had some great submissions for the first playlist  – so please be in touch with any songs you would like to add– this may include your all-time favourite song/s, a song to remember this time or year, or a song that holds a special meaning to you.

Ian, our wonderful volunteer who has been a great help and inspiration with our content over lockdown, has kicked us off by sharing his picks:

ABBA  – Thank you for the Music

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Next week we will share some decade and artist-specific inspiration, so hopefully over the next two weeks we can build up a sizable playlist.

 

Week 19 – Music Through the Ages

Following on from last week’s email, we are collecting songs to share a playlist on our last week of this email series. Thanks to everyone who has already sent in their song picks! How about suggesting a song or two from best selling artists across the decades.. Ian has got us started by selecting his favourite songs…

1950’s

Frank Sinatra – Strangers in the Night

Buddy Holly – That’ll be the Day 

1960’s

Elvis Presley – The Wonder of You

The Beatles – A Day in the Life

1970’s

Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get what you Want

Elton John – Your Song

1980’s

Michael Jackson –  No idea!!! ( maybe Billie Jean)

Madonna – La Isla

What’s your favourite song from these artists – or another best-selling artist from a past decade?

 

Week 20 – Chair Yoga

You can watch this week’s tip here


 

Useful Resources