There are many mental health benefits to continuous learning. It can increase our self-esteem by showing we can overcome challenges, achieve our goals and become wiser. In many situations, learning also involves interacting with other people. Whether that’s in a traditional classroom, or in a virtual environment, having the opportunity to talk to and share with others is a great mental health boost!
Learning can also give us a sense of hope and purpose for the future, especially if what we’re learning can be applied to certain situations (e.g. learning to build our happiness with techniques). It can also keep us mentally engaged, which helps with us finding life interesting and worthwhile! So in many ways, we are being kind to ourselves by continuing to learn.
Being mindful of this, why not do something today that helps you to Keep Learning?
As life in these unprecedented times has been challenging and more so for people struggling with their mental health, we at Derby City Life Links have been trying to provide substantial support being mindful of the government’s guidelines. As part of this effort , for the Mental Health Awareness Week commencing on the 18th of May we are running online sessions each day till the 22nd of May. Please come and join in the talks, or check back during the week for reflections.
It isn’t easy trying to work from home in the middle of a pandemic. When we lose our structure and social networks our wellbeing can suffer. It’s even harder than usual to keep up a brave face for others and this can leave us feeling exhausted. Whilst the people we support often need help, it’s equally important to recognise that our staff teams are human and need to self-care. For this reason, we decided to dedicate day three of Mental Health Awareness Week to our committed staff team. Today, we explored how we can apply the principles of kindness to the topic ‘Learning’.
The team discussed how learning new skills and interests can be a form of self-kindness as it represents an investment in ourselves and gives us a sense of accomplishment. For example, one of our staff members are keen to learn how to bonsai trees. Another staff member learned how to use self-compassion meditations, whilst another taught themselves how to brew cider!
All the team felt that we can keep learning from the lockdown in ways which can promote kindness. We have learned to appreciate what we have, reach out to our friends, colleagues and neighbours, and look after ourselves if we’re having a bad day. When thinking of the value of learning, one colleague put it best:
“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time to plant one is now”.
Below are some videos and courses you might find useful