We’re all adapting to a new way of life and coping with the changes brought by the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people might find it more worrying than others. Most people’s lives will change in one way or another over a period of days, weeks or months. But in time, it will pass. In the meantime, we wanted to share this OPEN MIND wellbeing challenge with you – print it out, stick it up on your wall and see what works best for keeping you active, connected and curious.
Over the past year, Science Gallery Dublin has been co-creating solutions to mental health and wellbeing management with young people as as we believe it is one of the biggest challenges facing young people today. We brought researchers, clinicians, parents, teachers, students and young people together and, as a group, we identified the biggest challenges, and dreamed up some potential solutions. Together, this diverse group developed a programme called OPEN MIND that aims to equip young people with the tools they need to manage their mental health.
Research shows wellbeing is greatly improved by making time for hobbies and interests, and connecting with those around you. But what does this mean amidst the measures related to coronavirus, when our daily routines are interrupted and our usual way of life is restricted?
We may not be able to carry on with our hobbies and lifestyles the way we normally can, and this can induce feelings of anxiety. On the other hand, the change of pace that comes with these measures can be an opportunity to explore different ways of doing what we love, or even discover new interests.
Maintaining wellbeing without the opportunity to go out and meet friends is challenging on two fronts: the absence of our normal social lives and the lack of a change of environment away from our living spaces. However, there are steps we can all take to maintain our boundaries in a confined living situation, as well as some creative ways to connect online with our friends and loved ones.
Below, we’ve adapted our OPEN MIND programme into an online wellbeing resource which may offer you some inspiration for the days and weeks ahead. In it, you’ll find some tips and prompts to keep your wellbeing in check while juggling your daily routine at home.
We can’t promise these suggestions will all float your boat, but one or two might just brighten up your day.
Written by Grace D’Arcy and Niamh Moriarty