Feel Good Fridays – What a Year (and a bit!)
When our courses were moved online early last year as Coronavirus spread, Deanne discussed with the Impact team how else we could reach out to our current and former learners as the initial lockdown progressed.
One solution was to take advantage of the new technology we had successfully embraced for delivery of the programmes. So, by holding regular catch-ups using the Zoom meeting app, Feel Good Fridays were started!
“Starting every Friday at 10.30 and lasting for a couple of hours. These sessions are all about fun, discussions around health & wellbeing, updates and games! It’s a bit like popping out for coffee with friends and going home feeling relaxed, informed and more often than not, in a better mood!”
Just like we teach on our courses, as the last 15 months progressed many blips/wobbles occurred in our lives, as the country would go in and out of lockdowns and through varying restrictions. We found this regular get-together an invaluable source of Peer-Support, not only for our learners but also for the Impact team!
A good number of former learners, some having done courses 4 or 5 years ago gave us a great opportunity to catch up with their lives, plus occasionally help them review some of the tools and practises which could help with their current situation. After all, as Deanne and Jackie have astutely observed, “So, if you have been hard on yourself for not doing better than you think you should, ask yourself – when was the last time you went through a Global Pandemic?”
It has also proved invaluable for learners who have only met each other online this past year or so. This has extended their social support beyond the course/s they attended, which in a classroom setting may have been limited to their fellow attendees. Occasionally some may admit during Feel Good Friday that for personal reasons things are not going their way. However, the unconditional support, lack of judgement, compassion and love that comes their way from others they sometimes barely know has proved a great source of comfort and strength to them, leaving the get-together with a more positive outlook.
It has been striking how much depth of knowledge there has been imparted between attendees. We’ve all been educated on the most diverse of subjects, from gardening and plant-care, to arts and crafts, plus environmental concerns and solutions that are becoming important issues in our 21st Century lives. Where else would you find out where to get sustainable bamboo toilet rolls and tissues, how to forage for mushrooms and other foodstuffs, or healthy recipes using vegan alternatives…although providing yourself with tea and cake to consume during the session is always welcomed!
What Deanne and Jackie have also found useful about Feel Good Fridays is the opportunities to try out new learning. So, subjects such as Breathwork and improving Vagus nerve function have been discussed, with half-an-eye on introducing them into the Impact programmes. It’s also been useful for our former learners when something has been added recently to a course, as invariably they will be mentioned the Friday after being covered, e.g. WOOP my life!
So, after well over a year, albeit with the occasional holiday breaks such as the summer one just started, Feel Good Fridays will continue for the foreseeable. We will let you know soon when we plan to re-start them, after Impact’s August shutdown. If you’ve already registered for the sessions then there’s no need to register again, just keep the confirmation email handy and use the Zoom link in that each week, after we’ve emailed everyone with a re-commencement date in a few weeks. Of course, if you’re a former learner that always been meaning to join us, but not yet got round to registering for Feel Good Friday, then here’s the link.
Harry Lindsay – Volunteer and Tech Guru!