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Hello and welcome to our May Newsletter where we share all the fantastic things we've been up to and plan to do in the future!
We are also looking to recruit more Volunteers, so if you would like to become part of the Gig Buddies community and share the many benefits of being a Volunteer, such as free tickets to events and improving your CV, please contact us if you or anyone you know would like to help adults in Portsmouth make new friends.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, we spoke to individuals supported by our Queens Square project, who shared valuable insights into their personal experiences and the activities that contribute to their mental well-being. Nurturing mental health is a delicate balance between finding joy in everyday pleasures and engaging in meaningful connections with the world around us.
For Michael, the calming effect of nature plays a significant role in his mental well-being. Spending time outdoors, watching the sea and birds in flight, instils a sense of serenity. He says, "I always feel better after a walk in the fresh air." Although sometimes he needs to push himself to venture outside, the beauty of the natural world never fails to uplift his spirits.
Wesley likes staying active through long walks and engaging in new experiences - this is key to getting a good night's sleep and a positive mindset. He says, "I get excited when I'm seeing or doing something new or different; I like knowing that something good is happening soon." Eating his favourite foods also makes him happy; he shared, "I always smile when I'm eating a treat!"
Brian finds comfort and support in his work colleagues and the caring staff at Queen Square. Their understanding and compassion lift his spirits during challenging times. Helping others and feeling valued contribute to his self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose. Furthermore, anticipating planned holidays adds an extra layer of excitement!
These heartfelt narratives from some of the individuals at Queens Square illuminate the significance of simple pleasures in nurturing mental health. The ability to find solace in nature, relish favourite foods, engage in physical activities, seek new experiences, build connections, and take pride in meaningful work all contribute to a balanced and fulfilled life. May we all discover our sources of joy and pleasure as we navigate the journey of nurturing our mental well-being.
Written by Lizzie Williams
This Mental Health Awareness Week, we explore the captivating world of cold-water swimming through one of our exceptional employees, Louise Chambers. She has practised in various countries across the globe, as it has become a powerful tool for nurturing her mental well-being. Today, she shares how she takes responsibility for herself, keeps safe in the water, and all its benefits to the body and mind!
First things first; personal safety! Louise recognises the risk and tells us how she never ventures alone, always ensuring she has a trusted companion present, even if they remain on the shore. Other factors she always considers include tide schedules, weather conditions, suitable entry and exit points, and water quality checking using the 'Surfers Against Sewage' App. Nobody wants a stinky swim!
With each step towards the water, Louise is mindful of her body's response to the cold, particularly in the coldest months. While the initial moments may present discomfort, she overcomes this stress reaction as she acclimates to the temperature and carefully manages her time in the water.
Louise equips herself with essential gear, such as a swimsuit suitable for year-round swimming or a wetsuit for added buoyancy and prolonged immersion. Neoprene gloves and boots offer protection from the cold's grip on her hands and feet. To enhance visibility, Louise dons a brightly coloured t-shirt and relies on a tow float, providing extra buoyancy. She ensures her head stays warm with a swimming hat or a cosy woolly hat, while a waterproof pouch safeguards her phone.
Cold water swimming goes beyond physical exercise - it serves as a powerful source of mental well-being. Louise shares, "I feel alive and free!" The sea awakens a profound sense of freedom, flooding her system with serotonin (the "feel-good" hormone) and endorphins, uplifting her spirits and evoking a sense of achievement. There are buckets of benefits that Louise has embraced; it acts as a potent stress reliever, providing respite from worrisome thoughts and allowing her to fully embrace the present moment whilst easing inflammation, aches and pains.
Through solace, empowerment, and renewed vitality, Louise shares her story as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of self-care during this critical week of awareness.
Written by Lizzie Williams
Hello and welcome to our April Newsletter. We have lots of fun things for you to enjoy and would like to thank all of our supporters that make a big difference to the local Portsmouth Community.
We are also looking to recruit more Volunteers so if you would like to become part of the Gig Buddies community and share the many benefits of being a Volunteer, such as free tickets to events and improving your CV, please contact us if you or anyone you know would like to help adults in Portsmouth make new friends.