Wellbeing Group

December 14, 2023

Wellbeing Group

Over the Autumn, parents took part in 7 sessions of Wellbeing Group, where they explored factors that affect their mental and physical health and how to improve them. They then planned activities around these factors, based on interests and areas that they were concerned about.

In the first session, parents explored different types of wellbeing, including physical, intellectual and practical. The goal of this group was for parents to reflect on what aspects of their wellbeing and health could be improved in their busy lives, and if there were factors that they had not considered.

We looked at creativity and self-expression through art, since some parents found that they did not have time to pursue this area, and they didn’t know where to start. The knitting and pottery they chose to do gave parents the opportunity to engage this creative side. Knitting over toasties and cuppas gave them a chance to learn a very accessible craft that they can pick up and to do in their homes in between other responsibilities, especially during the winter months. At the pottery studio parents made several impressive pieces using a wheel and craft tools. Despite being less easy to do in their homes, this craft was new territory for many and being able to learn it was a tremendous boost to confidence.

We also went out into the community, going to get their library cards in Leith and visiting the Modern Art Gallery. The trip to the library showed how easily they can access books, computers and community, for their children but also for themselves. They explored the gallery and chose art pieces that spoke to them, both positively and negatively, to help them develop their taste art. These trips were lots of fun, but it was also an opportunity to peruse books and art that interested them and encouraged them to reengage with their own personal interests and hobbies.

Finally, we delved into practical skills for the parents to learn or brush up on: cooking and martial arts. They chose to develop cooking skills by making a winter stew and cheesecake from scratch, using fresh, cost-effective ingredients. The martial arts session was new ground for many of the parents, but it provided some effective information and support with regards to self-defence, but also confidence in a new setting with a new group.

At every one of these sessions, the parents arrived with enthusiasm towards the new activities, and openness when reflecting and discussing which parts resonated with them the most. We left the first session with lots of ideas, discussion and experiences, and this momentum did not run out. As we reflected on the ending of the group’s term, over homemade stew and coffee, we then looked forward to how we would implement these skills into our lives. Over the winter, some of the parents have been joining the gym, doing knitting for themselves and friends, and taking time to reflect on their wellness and practicing self-care. We also transitioned into an employability group, where we continued to discuss the impact of employability and education to our mental health and wellbeing.

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