Five ways to access positive mental health

We are proud of how flexible and resilient our tight-knit community have been during Covid-19, this blog explains five ways to access wellbeing and remain positive in mind, body and spirit!

1. Have fun with your family

Play is essential to the mental and physical wellbeing of children. Good mental health is just as important for parents. Lockdown has meant that some families haven’t been able to enjoy outdoor play with their children. This summer our family support team supported priority families helping them access outdoor activities, including parent wellbeing sessions, make and take origami, little science and sport days. Our advice…try to laugh and have fun as a family for at least 30 minutes every day!

2. Focus on what your body needs

Physical health impacts our mental health. Often called the runner’s high, exercise such as walking or cycling releases endorphins that make us feel good and this improves our mood. Mind explain how food affects the way we feel, so improving our diet improves mood, increases energy and even helps us think more clearly. Start your journey to fitness and friendship at Colombo Centre our local community gym!

3. Connect with nature

Whether you enjoy walking, picnicking or sitting in your local park, green spaces have provided an escape from isolation this year for everyone. Offering fresh air, a place to meet friends and some much-needed peace and quiet, parks have brought colour and vibrancy to our lives. Urban gardens are a haven for wildlife, allowing us to enjoy watching sparrows, bees, butterflies and squirrels.

Gentle gardening volunteers in our community garden

Volunteering in community gardens like Bernie Spain Gardens has therapeutic benefits, helping alleviate isolation and depression through a combination of gentle exercise, getting outside, growing plants and social interaction. Sustainable green spaces are vital. They make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable and isolated people, and have been a lifeline during Covid-19, keeping us positive and connected.

4. Tap into the power of art

Accessing creativity through art provides an outlet for feelings that can sometimes be overwhelming. Art channels our negative emotions, turning them into positive ones.

Artwork created by Michael Heath during community art group sessions

Local resident Michael Heath enjoyed the community art sessions we ran over the summer saying, “Strolls along the South Bank have been a regular must and something I have missed this year. The art project, which focused on bridges around the South Bank, helped me to keep in touch with one of my favourite areas in our magnificent city and expand my art skills too!”

5. Keep in touch with friends

There is nothing quite like the company of family and friends to help you to get through the most stressful of times. It’s wonderful to connect over FaceTime or WhatsApp, but nothing beats catching up face to face.

Gabriel’s Wharf and Oxo Tower Wharf provide an idyllic, vibrant, and stunning location along the South Bank for family and friends to reconnect. With lots of outdoor space and a range of cafes and bars selling food, takeaway beers and cocktails, alongside unique independent designer-makers, this is a charming place to visit.

Local South London artist, Xavi Art, is launching his first exhibition at the Oxo Tower Gallery during Black History Month. Xavi Art is a strong advocate for mental health in the black community and will be fundraising for Black Minds Matter UK through visitor donations.

The exciting exhibition takes place from 21-25 October 2020. Opening times will be from 11am-6pm. Tickets are free to book here.