Hello everyone, and welcome back to Inside Isorropia. It’s the school summer holidays, and as per the norm for Great Britain, it is decidedly damp, grey and drizzly outside. We are now halfway through August, and there has been no sign of the late summer heat we were led to believe was headed our way. Maybe we’ll have an Indian summer this year, and September will be glorious; that would be a lovely treat to look forward to. I’ve met some people in the last few weeks who have been really affected by the lack of sunshine and the lack of warmth.
Did you know that the phrase ‘Indian Summer’ may have (according to The Royal Meteorological Society)…
“…originated in the United States when native American Indians took advantage of favourable weather conditions in the autumn to hunt.”(rmets.org)
“Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warm which is called the Indian summer.”John de Crevecoeur – 17th January 1778 (countryliving.com)
I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping for more warmth and brighter weather to come after this somewhat dreary August. We can but hope!
It’s easy to overlook the joy we can get from the simple things, like sitting outside in our gardens, enjoying the flowers and watching nature at work, as well as the physical benefits (although I think there is good evidence available to support this idea; we all know by now that we need a healthy amount of sunshine, don’t we?!). How much is ‘healthy’ though, and what do we do if we can’t get enough?
When we are confined to being indoors and feeling uninspired to go out, we suffer twice over: once for the lack of sunshine and again for being deprived of the experiences we thrive on when the weather is more favourable. My advice is to grab those moments as and when you can, no matter how brief, because summer will come to an end anyway, so why not make the absolute best of it while we still can. A cup of tea outside when the sun is trying to break through might be just the lift you need, even if you end up back indoors soon after. Today I’m sharing some tips that I think could be just what you need if you’re struggling to stay positive on these damp days.
At least 20% of the population report feelings of sadness, fatigue, and low mood during seasons with fewer hours of daylight. This may show up as a shift in motivation and mentality, so if you are noticing the same, here are some things you can do:
🌻 Keep moving your body, don’t turn into a couch potato hibernating! Stay active. Moving our bodies releases endorphins and can help overcome temporary feelings of a low mood state.
🌻 Fresh air – get some!
🌻 Get as much sunshine as possible as well as ensuring you open up your home to allow plenty of natural light in
🌻 Food – nutrition is important. It’s so easy to eat all the warm, heavy, starchy food, but remember, all in moderation. High sugar and high fat does affect our moods!
🌻 Keep your social fitness in check – meeting friends outside of your home, perhaps visiting those you haven’t seen in a while, joining a group, volunteering
(Tips courtesy of @leannemaciel_ Instagram)
You wouldn’t be alone if you are already thinking about autumn approaching. The daylight hours have been gradually reducing since the longest day back in June, and with these grey, cooler days, it is certainly starting to feel less like summer and more autumnal; I’ve definitely noticed it in the mornings. I asked the Isorropia team to share tips on things they have found helpful in preparing for the change in seasons, and Deputy Lead Nat shared the practical steps she has taken and how it has made a huge difference to how she feels about the cooler months and her ability to stay balanced, despite environmental changes that are out of her control:
“One thing I’ve done recently to cope with the change of seasons is to buy a wetsuit/boots/gloves as I love sea swimming, and this removes the obstacle of finding the temperature too cold. I love sea swimming because it helps me be mindful of being in that natural environment, partly because it helps me slow down.
As a massive summer fan, I also find it useful to think about why I like the other seasons, for example, woolly jumpers, sausage & mash, reading by the fire. This helps me be grateful.”(Natalie Streets – Deputy Lead)
Other things you may want to consider are optimising exposure to daylight. This can be hard on greyer days, but positioning yourself by a window or in the room with the most light coming in are simple but effective ways to ensure you are doing the best you can with what you have. You may also want to take a look at SAD lamps (light therapy for people who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder) and explore whether this might be a worthwhile investment for yourself. This is something that I have used in the darkest days of winter, based on the recommendation of other SAD sufferers. I’d also recommend taking Nat’s advice and focus on the positive things in each and every day, regardless of the season. There is always something to be grateful for, and by placing our focus on the good stuff, the rest tends to diminish to a certain extent. Let us know in the comments if you have any helpful tips on managing mood and the changing seasons.
Saturday August 19th saw World Photography Day celebrated globally, and most noticeably perhaps, on social media. This day is an opportunity to celebrate the art, craft, science and history of photography, and everyone is welcome to participate wherever they may be in the world. Photography enthusiasts were encouraged to share their shots on social media using the hashtag #WorldPhotographyDay. WorldPhotographyDay.com has also posted that they are currently accepting submissions for photos to be featured on their website in order that they can be appreciated around the world, irrespective of where they have been taken. How wonderful. I’m going to set some time aside later to take a look and maybe find myself some inspiration for my next trip out exploring.
Photography is a hugely accessible hobby, with camera phones having such good photographic capabilities these days. I found a love of nature photography during the Covid pandemic, and it is something that has stayed with me ever since. I find walking anywhere takes me two or three times longer now because I’m constantly stopping to capture photos of this, that or whatever! It drives my family slightly mad. They are currently in talks to establish strategies for reaching destinations a little quicker!! I’m guessing leaving me at home is pretty high up there!! Here at Isorropia, the community groups are providing so many lovely opportunities to destress, be more present and immerse ourselves in nature, with or without a camera or phone. If this is something our members are interested in, then they can contact the team on 01983 217791 to find out what the current destinations are for Wellbeing Wanders, Mellow Mondays (Gift to Nature), and Trust in Nature and Nurture (with The National Trust) sessions.
Back in June, our 16-25 Transitions Co-ordinator, Lisa, and Wellbeing Coach, Hannah, attended HTP Apprenticeship College to spread awareness around mental health and wellbeing. They had a fantastic time connecting with the incredible young people, sharing with them a wealth of information to assist in navigating their own wellbeing journeys. This was a wonderful opportunity to get out into the Island community and reach a vitally important group within our Island population; they are the future, after all! We feel so passionate here at Isorropia about empowering young people, helping them get off to the best possible start in life, and encouraging a positive approach to developing & maintaining their own wellbeing is the perfect foundation for this.
August is when exam results are announced for GCSE and A Level students. We send all our Island families good luck and congratulations to their young people who will no doubt have worked so hard and achieved so much. This is true, even if the results aren’t exactly as some may have hoped. The important message to share is that these results do not define a person: each and every individual taking exams and getting results is so much more than the scores they receive in these exams, and their lives are just beginning; opportunities will find them and exciting times are ahead, just you wait and see!
We are delighted to welcome Sue to our Admin team here at Isorropia. Sue joined us in time to attend our Team Wellbeing Day – Summer Edition. It was a fabulous day with structured Psycho-Educational training in the morning, followed by a BBQ in our lovely Medina Valley grounds, courtesy of the wonderful, culinary-talented, Wellbeing Coach Jamie. The afternoon session was organised by our Dynamic Duo ‘The Neils’ who injected the day with fun and a hint of healthy competition, with teams pitted against each other to crack a treasure hunt, play boules and, best of all, Team Rounders which appears to have been the best team building activity to date! Fab work guys, this is quite the standard you have set for future Wellbeing Days! And would you believe it?! The weather was on our side too; a warm, dry day with even a touch of sunshine sprinkled throughout the day. Just perfect!!
We have welcomed some home-grown talent to the Isorropia Team this month with several new Wellbeing Coaches now offering their valuable skills and experience on the Wellbeing Programme and beyond. Many of these have grown from members, to mentors, to volunteers and this is exactly what Isorropia Foundation is all about; we love to see our members growing in confidence, stepping out of their comfort zones and striving to help others whilst they continue to heal themselves! Huge congratulations and the warmest of welcomes to you all!
There have been some wonderful moments on the Black Rock Charter Fishing expeditions. Some of our members have had success with the fishing rods, and Isorropia has received some wonderful feedback as a result:
“I wanted to say what a fantastic time I had yesterday on the fishing trip. If there’s anyone who might be unsure about it, I’d say try it. I nearly didn’t go (inner critic) but it was an experience I can’t wait to repeat.”Isorropia Member
“Just wanted to say what a fantastic day I had with you all. So great catching my first fish. And lovely having a natter and laugh with you all. Look forward to the next one.”Isorropia Member
“The fishing trip yesterday was unreal. Apologies if I was quiet and seemed distant, I was just taking in the experience and relaxing out at sea, away from land and its troubles for 2 hours.”Isorropia Member
“Another great day out fishing. Another great catch. Glad it’s a good mixed gender bunch, guys and girls. We had a good laugh.”Isorropia Member
This community group is funded by an award from the Sport England Together Fund, administered by the Angling Trust and Isorropia members are supported throughout by the team at Black Rock Charters and our very own Vicky Shaw-Yates, Community & Volunteer Lead.
So, as this August post comes to a close, I hope you are blessed with plenty more of the warm stuff. I look forward to hearing how you marked World Photography Day and any celebrations or successes you have had; remember, it’s important to acknowledge the steps you take towards your goals, no matter how small they might be. We are right here, celebrating with you and cheering you all on, so you’re not on your own. #isorropiacommunity