Jane Fowler - Head of Customer Support Services
Happy Wednesday! There is definitely a sense of spring in the air, with the snow now melted and snowdrops peeking out from the grass. Snowdrops always cheer me up – the first flowers of the new year. I like to pause for a moment and just admire them – so fragile and beautiful, yet tough - thriving as they do at this harsh time of year. Thanks for all your feedback after last week’s message – it’s great to hear from you, please do keep on keeping in touch. We heard some lovely stories about colleagues experiences of same sex marriage after our LGBT History month feature last week– thank you for sharing.
So we have a few challenges for you this week to boost your wellbeing. Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day, so see how you can brighten someone’s day with a surprise! It will make you feel good too. We’re also looking to encourage each of us to say ‘well done’ to our colleagues, and this week we’d like to hear from you if you work in or with our Roads and Infrastructure Team – or if you are a service user. Let’s shine a light on their great work. Spending time outside is another feature this week – so I hope if you are outside, you see some snowdrops - send us your photos!
Random Acts of Kindness Day - 17 February
I love a random act of kindness. I find kids are the best at them, they are always so out of the blue and so genuine. As adults I think we could try harder – sometimes we are so caught up in the routine and rushing of a busy life we forget that a tiny wee bit of kindness goes a long way to making someone else’s day (but it also makes your day – you can’t beat doing a good turn). Here are some ideas for the next 7 days. I promise you will love the feeling!
- Make someone a cup of tea
- Send someone a wee postcard or letter
- Video call someone who might be feeling a bit lonely
- Give someone a compliment
- Feed the birds
- Sponsor someone
- Thank an essential worker
You can also find some more fun ideas for random acts of kindness under coronavirus restrictions at the mentalhealth.org.uk website.
On the theme of kindness you may enjoy the Don’t Tell Me the Score podcast on BBC Sounds. Which features Dr David Hamilton discussing how kindness can make us happier, deepen our relationships and even improve our heart health and immunity. And with an R number of 5, kindness has the power to ripple out and make a big impact on the world around us too. You can listen to the podcast on the BBC Sounds website
Spending time outside
Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness.
It has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate, encouraging physical activity and buoying mood and mental health AND we are still allowed to do it in all COVID restriction levels AND if outside is not your favourite place you only need to be out for 20 minutes to feel the benefits AND so it’s doable in your lunch hour!
It’s all too tempting to not leave the house just now - it can be a thought when it requires welly boots and waterproofs but as Billy Connolly says “there is no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes”.
Seona, in our HR team tells us ‘my favourite walk come rain, shine or hail is Robbers Den in Ardrishaig – it’s right on my door step, off the beaten track, requires the wellies and has some beautiful waterfalls.’ What is yours? Please let us know.
In case you need any more inspiration, this article provides 20 ways to add purpose to your walk
If you’re feeling brave, a couple of our readers have recommended wild swimming which certainly seems to be very popular right now. There are a few important considerations below to definitely take heed of however and if you’re thinking of taking the plunge you may want to visit the wild swimming website for some tips or search online.
- Try just a paddle at first
- Building up the time you spend in the water
- A wetsuit could help you feel more comfortable
- Swim with a companion – socially distanced of course
- Have a hot drink and warm, dry clothes ready for when you come out
Appreciation for our colleagues!
Over the next few months we will be running features of appreciation for our colleagues across the various council services. First up, we highlight Road & Infrastructure Services.
One thing we know is that Roads & Infrastructure Services teams are certainly adaptable, working together to make sure services are delivered whatever the weather and especially under the challenges presented by Covid. However we’d really love to hear it from you, as colleagues who work with or in the service or even as service users. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and send some positivity their way. This will also count towards your random act of kindness for the week!
Over to You!
We are delighted with the amount of feedback we are receiving on the Wellbeing Wednesdays. Thank you for all the brilliant ideas for future features and activities to promote our wellbeing.
We will be featuring as many of these as possible in the weeks ahead. Please keep them coming, and let us know if you would be happy to mention your name if we use your ideas!