Thanks to @samschoolstuff for challenging us to name our top 5 wellbeing investments. It’s a while since I wrote a blog, so I’m pleased to have Sam’s challenge to get me started again. In no particular order, my investments are:
1. New earphones for my mobile phone. I sat on the last pair. When I got the new ones I started using them to accompany me to the gym. I now download plays, a serial, or omnibus editions of books from Radio4extra. I can (almost) look forward to going to the gym now, knowing I have the next instalment or something else entertaining to enjoy.
2. Singing is good for the heart, it’s said. For less than the cost of a regular evening class, I sing weekly during the term time with In Ecclesia. We sing church music and make it our business to visit churches whose congregations enjoy the traditional cathedral music choral tradition and have no parish choir of their own to provide it. About twice a year we provide the music for a weekend at cathedrals across the country when their regular choir is on holiday We have an entourage of supporters (mostly partners of members) who travel with us and we all have a meal together at least once over the weekend. This investment ticks all of the #teacher5aday priorities: I learn new music, connect with friends, cycle to rehearsals, give of my time for others’ enjoyment, and at its best the music we create allows us to ‘take notice’ in a very special way, joining us with something beyond ourselves in the moment of musical creation.
3. Train travel, when I can, rather than car.
I can walk to the station (tick another of the #5aday), watch the countryside going by, read a novel (yes, really I sometimes do that) or even work, using the time more profitably than I would if driving .. .and better for my carbon footprint, too. This picture was taken on the walk from Totnes railway station to Dartington Hall where I attended a conference last week.
4. Bringing the outside in. When the roses in my garden are no longer blooming, I buy flowers for the house; they don’t have to be expensive and if I choose carefully, they last a long time. I put them in the hall, so whenever I move from one room to another I see them. They greet me when I go downstairs first thing in the morning and when I arrive home, and they remind me to take time to stop and notice their beauty.
5. New curtains and a blind for my bedroom. If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I’m the advocate of #teacher5aday+1 … Sleep is the most important aspect of wellbeing for me: it drives all the others, because we make the best decisions when we’re well rested and this includes decisions concerning the best way to look after ourselves. Investing in blackout curtains and a light coloured blind that lets the light in when I need it, has allowed me to sleep well and – by opening the curtains and leaving the blind down – get dressed in the light without alarming the neighbours.
Those are my 5. What are yours?