At the Network of Wellbeing (NOW), our eyes – and hearts – are open to the struggles many of us are facing right now. We are sensitive to the challenges emerging from Covid-19, and alongside this we’d also like to highlight the beacons of hope; those supporting mental health, connecting communities in kindness and sharing hopeful perspectives on how the world could change in the future.
We have therefore decided to start sharing a fortnightly summary of good news; not with the intention of denying the obvious struggles so many are facing. But rather to highlight beacons of hope and inspiration as we navigate these times together.
Every two weeks our team will curate online events and resources at the intersection of wellbeing and social change. We will feature things to read/watch/listen to as well as online events to join on:
- Ways to support mental health and wellbeing at this time
- Innovative community responses
- New cutting edge ideas about how society will look after covid-19
- Plus, regular events you can join to help your wellbeing
Our intention is to support and connect those working on happiness and wellbeing.
Regular / Ongoing Wellbeing Events
- Daily pause via Action for Happiness: Every day at 8am BST Action for Happiness are inviting people to pause for two minutes, to help us all to stay calm in crisis.
- The Heart Movement offers regular mindfulness and listening spaces online, helping people to slow down and connect with themselves and each other.
- Free 7 Day Mindful Photography Programme is bring offered by Ruth Davey of Look Again, to offer people to creatively slow down.
Supporting Your Mental Health and Wellbeing
In difficult times, it’s vital that we take care of our mental and physical wellbeing. Here are some offerings and ideas which may help:
READ: Wellbeing at Work from Home
None of us are alone in navigating the ‘new normal’ and the challenges it brings. If you’re working from home for the first time, here are some tips from the Eden Communities team and our friends at Semble about how teams can look out for one another while working remotely.
WATCH: Physical activity helps your mental wellbeing
Let’s get moving! Physical exercise has been proven to reduce stress and improve our energy, sleep and mental wellbeing. Here is a weekly programme of dance and exercise sessions brought to you by the Active Wellbeing Society.
JOIN: There’s a host of upcoming events on happiness & wellbeing
- A Day on Resilience – an online conference on 26th April organised by the Weekend University with Shamash Alidina from the Museum of Happiness
- Resilience skills in a time of Coronavirus on 30th April with Chris Johnstone of the College of Wellbeing
- The Wild Scribe: An online nature journalling workshop via Hawkwood College, running 30th April until 14th May.
Innovative Community Responses
We know people are coming together like never before.
More than 750,000 people have signed up to volunteer for the NHS and mutual aid groups have been set up across the UK. We feel most inspired when we look beyond the headlines at some of the specific examples, and the people guiding them:
READ: Helplines support vulnerable people
Helplines that match vulnerable people with those offering help have taken thousands of calls. Up-and-down the country, teams of charities and voluntary workers are leading the non-medical response. Read more about examples in Birmingham via The Active Wellbeing Society and in Devon via Torbay Community Development Trust.
Is this happening in your community? Let us know!
WATCH: Active Hope goes online in China
How can online gatherings build mutual support and inspiration in a time of Coronavirus? Here’s how a group in China has drawn on the work of Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone to acknowledge the challenges of the virus and build a greater sense of connection and community.
JOIN: Free webinar on learning from community responses to Covid-19
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 started we have seen communities come together in incredible ways, to support each other with incredible kindness. What can we learn from the ways communities have responded? And how can we take these lessons forward into all community work? Join NOW’s next free Wellbeing Together webinar on 12th May at 8pm, featuring Karen Creavin from the Active Wellbeing Society together with a panel made up of other community wellbeing organisations.
Finding new perspectives
In times of challenge, it is normal to feel uncertain and afraid. While being sensitive and compassionate to the challenges people face, we, like Arundhati Roy, see these times as a portal; to enable us to question what kind of society we’d like to live in. Surveys show many people agree with us. And cities such as Milan are already thinking about how they could be greener in the future. We think we can be stronger together:
READ: Doughnut Economics Being Put into Practice
Dutch officials have shared that they will be using Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics in Amsterdam after coronavirus, to help the city thrive in balance with the planet.
WATCH: Useful and Kind Unlimited
Duncan Fraser shares some ideas on how to be useful and kind in troubled times.
JOIN: Advaya Initiative’s Regenerative Activism series
A series of online events are being offered by Advaya on Regenerative Activism, from 7th – 28th May, on topics including the new economy and systemic transformation.
Be Part of the Conversation: #TheGoodNewsIs
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about some of the good news out there right now. We’d love this blog to be part of a wider conversation and sharing on beacons of hope and positivity in these challenging times. Please share your good news with us using the hashtag #TheGoodNewsIs and tagging us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.