Equals IW is awarded £4,885 to deliver a new community programme called Green Time - The Natural Way to Good Emotional Well-being and Mental Health.

Equals IW received funding from the Isle of Wight Council to run Green Time as a programme of engagement activities through the Equals IW Friendship Groups. It is open to ages from children to grandparents and to all abilities. Participants will enhance their emotional well-being and mental health through physical exercise, creative stimulation and by taking a closer look at how food and mood are related. It will explore the role of good gut health and the impact food has on our overall mental wellness It will cover specific mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Green Time comprises of three core activities

  • Green Time Walk Your Way To Health Guided Walks
  • Green Time Green Skills
  • Green Time Food and Mood
Green Time Walk Your Way to Health

These comprise guided walk sessions.

They will combine either an outdoor craft activity or an outdoor cooking activity linking positive emotional well-being with healthy outdoor food cooking. Delivered through the Equals IW Friendship Group for Friends and Family, these sessions will be open to children with parents, young people and adults with no upper age limit. The walks will enable people of all ages to enjoy the natural outdoors, through gentle physical exercise to stimulate positive emotional well-being and mental health. Exploring the outdoor natural environment through a guided walk gives an opportunity to learn about the local history, wildlife in areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) on the Isle of Wight. Whilst blending the use of technology (Apps) for Health, Fitness, Mindfulness and Nature.

Walking promotes brain activity and thinking time and will allow participants some mindfulness reflection. People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. It is also a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression and anxiety. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood and you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a real difference. No matter your age or fitness level, Green Time will enable participants to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with mental health problems, improve energy, outlook, and get more out of life.

Green Time Green Skills

These are three-hour craft sessions delivered through the Equals IW Friendship Group for women.

These sessions are open to women only and will enable them to come together through a range of craft activities that includes making costumes. Sessions will also focus on dance and music as way to physical exercise and to stimulate positive emotional well-being and mental health.

Green Time Green Skills allows participants to be creative through a range of art activities focused on recycling material. Creating art provides a distraction, giving your brain a break from your usual thoughts. The average person has roughly 70,000 thoughts per day and 90% of them are exactly the same, day in and day out. When you are totally immersed in a creative endeavour, you may find yourself in what is known as “the zone” or a state of “flow.” This meditative-like state focuses your mind and temporarily pushes aside all your worries. Creating art trains you to concentrate on details and pay more attention to your environment, in this way, it acts like meditation. Creative activities can also really help people deal with different kinds of trauma and negative feelings, by having a calming effect on the brain and body.

Green Time Food and Mood

Three-hour sessions delivered through the Equals IW Friendship Group for women. These sessions are open to women only and will enable them to come together with a professional dietitian and see how eating well can help you feel better. Sessions will focus on the importance of eating regularly, staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet. It covers the role of carbohydrates and the right balance of proteins and fats and the importance of vitamins, minerals and looking after your gut health. There are psychological, social and biological benefits of eating meals with other people. Participants will together have an opportunity to learn how to make a selection of healthy foods from different cultures.

>Read More: Green Time Community Programme Funded
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