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Summer Wellbeing Challenge 2016

Summer Wellbeing challenge


Join us this August for a month of creative activity with our Summer Wellbeing Challenge #summerwellbeing


  • Promote the arts and wellbeing
  • Highlight the work of artists, wellbeing and health organisations across the UK
  • Champion the arts as a means of staying mentally healthy
  • Have some fun!

How you can get involved

  • Try out some of the creative ideas we are suggesting yourself
  • Share your ideas on Twitter/ Pinterest/Instagram etc using #summerwellbeing
  • Get your friends, family, colleagues involved in developing ideas and sharing wellbeing tips
  • Post up some of your own ideas


You may already be familiar with the proven Five Ways to Wellbeing – Connect, Be active, Take notice, Keep learning and Give – but how often do you explore each of these as a way to stay mentally healthy?

Throughout August we will be digging into what each means, trying out new ideas, making merry, doing new and exciting things and we are inviting YOU to join us!

To take part all you have to do is try some of the ideas – feel free to come up with your own, and share your experiences with us. You can join in at any point!

We’d love as many people as possible to take part – so why not join with a friend? Or with your family? Or how about with work colleagues?

It’ll be exciting, illuminating and uplifting and you’ll learn new skills and discover new places along the way.

And it’s FREE

Ready? #summerwellbeing



Week 1 – Connect 

This first week is all about Connecting. Connect with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Here’s some ideas for things to try during ‘Connect’ week. What other ideas can you come up with? Don’t forget to share what you do with us! Twitter,  Facebook or Instagram using the #summerwellbeing

  • Send a postcard to someone – Buy one, draw one, make your own.
  • Phone instead of texting or sending an email
  • Hold Hands
  • Invite a friend you’ve not seen for a while out for a coffee
  • Hug someone (ideally someone you know!)
  • Family tree – What can you find out about your ancestors? (ask your relatives, visit your local library to gain free access to family tree websites)
  • Introduce two of your friends who don’t know each other
  • Have a work/friends/neighbours bring n’ share lunch
  • Lend a helping hand
  • Write a love letter or letter of thanks to someone you appreciate
  • Join a book group or other meet-up that interests you
  • Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & join our newsletter!

How else could you connect with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and those around you? Share your ideas and what you do to connect with us.

Summer Wellbeing challenge week 1 postcard  Summer Wellbeing challenge - connect - phone


Week 2 – Be Active 

 mood has been shown to be improved by single bouts of exercise of less than 10 minutes. Small changes in activity levels will enhance wellbeing

Welcome to week two. This week is all about Being Active. Small changes can make all the difference so if you aren’t very active right now, start small. Regular physical activity is associated with a greater sense of wellbeing and lower rates of depression and anxiety for all ages. The trick to maintaining an active lifestyle is finding something you find fun and enjoy!!

Here’s some ideas for things to try during ‘Be Active’ week. What will you try?

  • Try a new class –zumba, dance fit, self-defence, ballroom – what interests you?
  • Take part in an Olympic sport
  • Dance (like no one’s watching)
  • Draw to three different types of music. Moving your whole body as you do so!
  • Skip
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Hoola
  • Plant a tree
  • Learn 5 dance movements
  • Have a bike? go out for Cycle
  • Do an activity that’s related to water – swim, waterfight, blow bubbles, walk in a stream, dangle your feet in a river, dance in the rain
  • Walk for 30 minutes and then photograph what’s in front of you
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime, invite a friend or work colleague
  • Discover a physical activity you enjoy, one that suits your level of mobility and fitness
  • Get outside and Fly a kite!

What other ways could you Be Active this week? Why not try some of these with a friend? Don’t forget to share! Twitter,  Facebook or Instagram using the #summerwellbeing

Summer Wellbeing challenge active - 1 walk  Summer Wellbeing challenge week 2 - 2 Draw to music


Week 3 – Take Notice 

 Research has shown that being aware of sensations, thoughts and feelings for 8-12 weeks has been shown to enhance wellbeing for several years

Ah week 3, slow down this week and really notice what’s around you. Be mindful. Take your time. Savour the moments.

Ideas for things to explore during ‘Take Notice’ week. What other ways could you take notice this week?

  • Look Up – what do you see
  • Notice how many people are wearing your fav. Colour
  • Breathe! Notice your breath for 5 cycles
  • Spot five animals / birds during your day
  • Create a sound map
  • Read a book that you wouldn’t normally read
  • Find five different trees in your area and record them in some way
  • Look for a sculpture and take a photo / draw / write something about it
  • Listen out for five different bird song
  • Try the 360 exercise. (Looking at an object from different view points)
  • Take a different route to work
  • Using your Five Senses – describe a Tree
  • Find the most interesting building in your area and take a photo, draw it or capture it in some way. What makes it interesting to you?
  • Explore your local area and visit somewhere you’ve not been to before
  • Visit an exhibition (Snap & Stroll at Guildhall Bath from 18 August)
  • Go somewhere different for lunch

Don’t forget to share what you do with us! Twitter,  Facebook or Instagram using the #summerwellbeing

Summer Wellbeing challenge week 3 -1 look up Summer Wellbeing challenge week 3 - 2 sound map


Week 4 – Keep Learning

Welcome into week 4 and keeping those grey cells active! Learning new skills has been shown to have positive effects on wellbeing and linked to increases in confidence, resilience, self-esteem, satisfaction.

Here’s some ideas for things to try during ‘Keep Learning’ week.

  • Rediscover an old interest
  • Listen to a new song (ask a friend or colleague to suggest a song for you to listen to)
  • Try a Brazilian food (Olympics is on in August)
  • Sign up for that course –Check out: Wellbeing College, Bath college, Open Uni, Coursea, Future Learn
  • Visit an exhibition
  • Learn to say hello in five different languages
  • Try cooking a healthier version of your faviourite meal
  • Find an artist that shares your name or comes from where you live e.g Bath, Bristol…
  • Set yourself a challenge you will enjoy achieving
  • Take on a different responsibility at work or at home
  • Fix something!
  • Visit a museum
  • Make an instrument from items around your home
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Learn a new craft – Knitting, crochet, quilting, spoon carving…

What other ways to keep learning can you try? Don’t forget to share! Twitter,  Facebook or Instagram using the #summerwellbeing



Week 5 – Give

When we think of others and give our time and attention to them something is triggered in our brains that activates our reward buttons. Effectively meaning that it makes us feel good. Research has shown that individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. So in this our final week we are exploring how many different ways there are to give and how doing this makes you feel.

Here’s some ideas for things to try during ‘Give’ week. 

  • Do something nice for a friend – or stranger
  • Lend a helping hand
  • Smile
  • Donate to Charity (We are a charity and greatfully accept donations)
  • Volunteer
  • Read a story to someone
  • Give a compliment
  • Make a gift (a cake?) and give it to a friend or someone you think would enjoy it
  • Phone your mum (or other family member)
  • Have a clear out and give away your unused items to charity or others
  • Make something for a charity –e.g Knit for peace, love quilts
  • Give a poem to someone. This could be a poem you like or write one yourself
  • Hug!

What others ways could you give?  Let us know your ideas and what things you do this week.

Share your thoughts and experiances with us via Twitter,  Facebook or Instagram using the #summerwellbeing


 Round Up

Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you

At the end of the challenge take some time to reflect on all you’ve done and consider the following questions.

  • How many different things did you try?
  • What did you like?
  • What was fun?
  • What was challenging?
  • What will you do more of?
  • What did you notice?
  • What did you learn?
  • What’s next?

We’d love to hear how you got on with this challenge, so feel free to drop us a line or share with us via social media!


References and research from the nef – economics as if people and the planet mattered report on Five Ways to wellbeing

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