Wellbeing Wednesday - 31st March 2021

Jane Fowler
Jane Fowler - Head of Customer Support Services

Happy Wednesday everyone! And it is April tomorrow, so spring is well and truly with us – we have a new wildlife visitor in our garden this week – a very large hare! It seems just to be eating the grass at the moment, so fingers crossed my flowers survive….

Our first topic today came about from one of our colleagues getting in touch directly about wellbeing – thank you Helen! Many of those we work with are living with long term health conditions - it is great to hear about Helen’s positive experience coming out of what has been a challenging and very serious illness.

Let’s embody the spirit of Argyll and Bute as we go into the Easter Break and in the words of our Provost – be kind and make a difference.  And whether you are being artistic, being active, savouring the moment or generally enjoying each day as it comes – enjoy your break and recharge your batteries.

We’re taking a short break from Wellbeing Wednesday over Easter and will be back again with more wellbeing information and ideas on 14th April – see you then!

World Epilepsy day March 26th 2021

Blarbuie Woodland

Celebrated annually on March 26, Epilepsy Awareness Day, or Purple Day, was created to increase the public’s understanding of this brain disorder and to eliminate the fear and stigma surrounding it.

Each person's experience of epilepsy is unique. Epilepsy is the most common, serious neurological disorder in the world.  In Scotland, 1 in 97 people have the condition.  It is not contagious, nor is it a disease.   Between seizures the brain works normally.  It can be a very complex condition to treat and it is more common these days to be referred for brain surgery testing as a treatment for the condition.

Helen Butler who works in our Web Team has recently gone through this journey and is now currently working alongside the Facebook support group, Epilepsy Surgery Friends.  They have put together a virtual art exhibition featuring works from members and supporters and they hope it will raise some positive awareness of the condition.

The group help to support people go through the brain surgery for epilepsy journey. You can read some of the stories behind the art works here.  Some pieces are for sale with a donation from each sale going to epilepsy causes and the NHS.  So far Helen’s own personal fundraising target has just broken £400 and this will be split 3 ways, between the NHS, Epilepsy Scotland and ESUKs (a charity that provide anti-suffocation pillows for people with epilepsy).

Highland Ram pyrography by Helen ButlerHelen is also planning an outdoor art display with her pyrography work to be placed throughout Blarbuie Community Woodlands, in Lochgilphead, which is in the grounds of the local hospital.  It is traditionally known as a healing garden and helped a lot in the early days of her personal recovery from brain surgery.  In Helen’s words….  “I thought this would be a nice way of paying back what I personally got from visiting the gardens and spread a bit of joy throughout the wood.” The pieces will be telling the story of the recovery from brain surgery and we look forward to hearing more about this exciting project.

World Health Day 2021

World Health Organisation logo7 April will be World Health Day and the World Health Organization are inviting everyone to join their campaign to build a fairer, healthier world.

WHO are focussing on inequalities across the world that have been highlighted by COVID and that some of us are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others.

Through their campaign WHO will be calling on leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health, urging leaders to monitor health inequities and to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them.

WHO will be posting more details on their campaign on the run up to the date on their website. Since we don’t (fortunately!) have the responsibility or influence of world leaders, one small but powerful thing we can do for ourselves and to influence a fairer society is to acknowledge gratitude for the services, support and quality of life we have access to. 

Research shows that feeling grateful boosts happiness and promotes both physical and psychological health.  Practicing gratitude helps us to shift away from negative emotions and allows us to feel calmer and more in control of our day to day lives.

With a more positive mind set we are able to show patience and kindness to those around us and are more likely to receive it in return.  As Provost Cllr Kinniburgh mentioned in his ‘A year on from lockdown’ message ‘Being kind and making a difference is what makes Argyll and Bute such a fantastic place to be associated with’

Savour the moment

Person stretchingMany of us are guilty of wishing the week away, but each day that passes is one we can’t get back.  Taking time to acknowledge the positives in each day can help us feel more fulfilled and content.  Those good vibrations will spread!

Question the negatives

LightbulbAcknowledging the positives doesn’t mean putting our head in the sand, but what we can do is try to treat challenges objectively and be curious about them to help stop us feeling overwhelmed.

What can we learn for next time?  Is this something we can cope with or do we need to ask for help?  Is this an impact from someone else, if so where is this coming from?

You can read more about the effects and research behind gratitude on the Happier Human website and a study carried out by The University of Birmingham.

Online Fitness

Live ArgyllExercise is shown to improve your mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.

Just because you are staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t exercise!  The advice is to keep as healthy as you can, which means taking any form of exercise you can from the comfort of your home.  

With lockdown measures still in place, Live Argyll are delivering online fitness classes to help you during these difficult times.  Live Argyll fitness instructors will be delivering the classes on their Live Argyll Facebook page

There is a variety of online fitness classes such as, HIIT with dumb bell class, full body fitness, Zumba, family fitness and many more.  You can access these classes on their website.  You will find on their website that they have a timetable for each class and what time they start and finish - so there’s no excuse for being late!

Fitness matThere’s no better time to start getting fit and healthy and creating a positive mind set.

When lockdown restrictions lift Live Argyll will release a time table for when classes can take place at the sport center closest to you. You can check this on their website or Facebook page.

We hope that you have found something that interests you this week’s edition and as ever, keep in touch and tell us about your wellbeing interests or with any suggestions for content

The Wellbeing Team wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk