After nearly a year of living with Covid-19, we find ourselves yet again in another lockdown akin to last March. And this time, you might agree that we’re collectively worn down from a year of living with the pandemic and, unlike last time, there’s less sun to provide us with some much-needed Vitamin D.
Many of us will be feeling the impact of the pandemic on our mental wellbeing more acutely. Thankfully, our local cultural centres have adapted their spaces and resources to provide services and activities to support us.
Despite being closed due to the lockdown, east London-based arts hub and performance venue Rich Mix is providing 10 virtual lessons aimed at improving your mental health and resilience.
Created in partnership with the NHS and Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies, among others, it contains a wide range of mental wellbeing lessons delivered by medical professionals. For instance, there are sessions on building mental resilience using art and lessons in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques (CBT) designed by the NHS.
The first lesson is about identifying and managing our emotions through what is known as a ‘dragon’ technique. You can find the full schedule and how to book your place on Rich Mix’s ‘Toolkit for Resilience’ 10-week programme on their website. The lessons run from 16 Jan to 16 March and the lessons themselves are free save for a £1.50 processing fee to book your place.
This virtual wellbeing programme is one of the many ways in which our local arts venues are having to utilise their creativity more than ever and come up with alternative ways to engage with their communities, despite being shut for the duration of the pandemic.
Local indie cinema Genesis turned their shared areas of the cinema into workspaces. Desks can be booked 9 am to 5 pm from a minimum of an hour, up to half or full days through their website. And their cafe and restaurant will also be open to provide caffeine and sustenance while working hard.
And there has been an explosion of virtual creative arts lessons by local organisations, such as St. Margaret’s House, which created an online programme of creative lessons and activities. Switching to digital spaces allowed our local organisations to reach wider audiences even as their doors were closed, offering everything from online sewing circles, painting lessons and even virtual film Q&A events, to indulge the appetites of a locked-down public looking to fill their time with artistic activities.
If you liked this article, you might be interested in reading about the origins of Genesis Cinema.
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