Wellbeing – At home and at (virtual) GB

It’s important to dedicate some time every day to focus on our wellbeing. Healthy Ireland’s Keep Well Campaign suggests five steps to wellbeing. Why not try out some of these ideas at home, or together during your online GB classes?

Keeping Active

Explore the area within 5km of your home by walking, cycling, or scooting. Check out if there are any Slí na Sláinte routes near you, or any Coillte Forest Trails.

There are lots of online fitness classes available. You can follow along with a video while you do the exercises at home. Check these out from Sports Ireland, Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership, Limerick Sports Partnership, or Waterford Sports Partnership.

GB Activity Ideas:

Challenge the girls to walk a set number of steps or KMs every week. Ask them to take a photo on their walk, or draw a picture, to show others something about their local area.

Lots of PE activities can be taught during online GB classes. Stick to dance and exercise routines that can be done on the spot and don’t need much equipment. Let parents know in advance so that the girls will be set up to join the call in a safe space with enough room to move.

Eating Well

Food is the fuel that gives us energy and keeps our bodies healthy. If you find yourself with lots of time on your hands, why not try out some new recipes. If you struggle to find time to cook, try to find a few simple, healthy options that you can quickly put together. Safefood have online video tutorials that might help you out:

How To GuidesEasy RecipesOne Pot Dinners

Or check out the HSE’s 101+ Square Meals Recipe Book (pdf)

GB Activity Ideas:

Try cooking together during your online GB class. Keep the recipe simple and send out the list of ingredients and utensils required in advance.

Older girls could complete the service section of their programme by cooking for relatives or neighbours who are cocooning.

Switching Off

Switching Off is about taking time to do something that you enjoy. That is different for everyone. It might be crafts, music, movies, gardening, meditation, reading or something else. It’s easy to leave these kinds of activities out of our schedules for others that seem more urgent – but they are really important for our overall wellbeing.

GB Activity Ideas:

The Spirituality Programme for this year is on the theme GodCares4Me. The packs have lots of activities to help you to connect with nature, practice mindfulness and gratitude.

Do a craft activity together during your online class. Send out a pack with the materials in advance or send a list to parents of what will be needed.

Have a movie night. Pick a movie to watch that’s available on the RTÉ player or other free service. Review it together on a call afterwards. This could also work with a concert or show!

Keeping in Contact

The restrictions that are in place to keep us safe at level 5 can sometimes make us feel isolated. But while we can’t have visitors to our house, there are lots of other ways to keep in contact. A letter or card can let others know we’re thinking of them. Or send a text or email, call for a chat or do an activity together on a video call.

GB Activity Ideas:

Set up a video call with your GB members so the girls can see each other. There are tutorials on the Leaders’ Area of the GB website to help you get started on Zoom.

Write a letter, make a card, or record a video, for someone in your community who might be feeling lonely.

Send in some photos, videos or stories for the GB social media pages or blog to let others know what you and your Company have been up to.

Minding your Mood

Sometimes things get on top of us, and that’s okay. There are lots of supports available to help with all kinds of challenges during these difficult times.

Check out the HSE Minding your Wellbeing programme which you can do for free, in your own time.

Text HELLO to 50808 any time to start a conversation. 50808 is a free 24/7 text service, providing chats and supports for all issues big and small.

Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. 24 hours a day, freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie.

Childline offers a listening service for children and young people . Freephone 1800 666 666 (24/7), or text 50101 (10am-4pm).

Women’s Aid offers confidential information, support and understanding to women who are being abused by current or former boyfriends, partners or husbands. Freephone 1800 341 900 24/7.

SpunOut.ie is Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people. There are blogs on different topics, everything from education, employment, LGBT+ issues, wellbeing, parenting and more. Check out their online chat service  with Youth Information Officers available between 4pm and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

For a much broader list of support services and helplines on lots of different topics see spunout.ie/help

GB Activity Ideas:

Ask girls to think of 5 things they can do to help when they’re in a bad mood. E.g. talk to a family member, call a friend, sing a song, say a prayer, play a favourite game, punch a pillow, take deep breaths.

Encourage girls to make a list or draw a picture of their ideas so they can remember them when needed. Older girls could make a list of support services and helplines, or share a social media post to help others.

Check out this year’s Chaplain’s Assignment for Juniors and Seniors which asks girls to make a short video about promoting wellbeing.

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