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2013 / June

Start2 Get Creative and Boost Mood

We all know that doing regular physical activity benefits mind and body – but did you know that doing regular creative activity can also have a positive impact on your wellbeing?

Simply doing 10 minutes of creative play a day can help release ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain.  These ‘neuro-chemicals’ assist deep concentration, slow down our pulse and breathing, reducing blood pressure and boosting the immune system.


We can all benefit from making a little space in our lives to highlight what we do well.  Recognise and acknowledge strengths with this reflective activity.  Then, using your days successes, why not add to your online Ownzone Bottle of Happiness or create one using an old tin or jar to remind yourself of your personal strengths?
Research suggests that keeping a record of daily achievements can boost both our mood and our confidence.  to remind yourself of your personal strengths? Research suggests that keeping a record of daily achievements can boost both our mood and our confidence.

Acacia Unit use Start2 activities with inpatients

Start2 recently ran a creative wellbeing workshop on Acacia Unit inpatients ward. Participants created unique and personal collage art works in a relaxed and friendly environment.  The workshop involved a positive thinking activity which looked at colour and mood and aimed to boost confidence.  Acacia Unit have planned 6 weeks of creative workshops using Start2 activities, and aim to get feedback from users to inform future creative activities.

"Start2 is easy to use.  It's a different and fun resource with lots of ideas for our service users on Acacia Unit. The resource provides something for everyone particularly the goal and recovery-focused activities.  We plan to use Start2 as a creative way for our service users to interact, set and achieve goals and generally aid them in their recovery journey."


What participants said:



"The instructions made me feel confident to create a piece of artwork. I'm really pleased with it."

"I really enjoyed doing something creative. I feel really proud of what I did."


"I like creating things out of nothing."


"I'm looking forward to do some more creative activities next week."


Recipe For a Good Mood proves a popular activity

Just by thinking about what we do to relax or do to enjoy ourselves we can shift our attention from stressful and worrying thoughts towards more relaxing and pleasant ideas. This can benefit our outlook on life, by focusing on positive aspects of our lives, allowing us to appreciate these things, however small.  So it’s no surprise that Recipe For a Good Mood is proving a popular to the creative palate.

Asylum Magazine is looking for written Recipes for a Good Mood, and/or artwork, for publication in their magazine.

"Having a section with Recipes For a Good Mood will provide variety and allow room for positive mental health and creativity to feature alongside the often heavy debates around mental distress which are included in Asylum magazine."


Have you a written Recipe For a Good Mood that you would like to be considered for publication? (your work will be credited as you would like to be known)

Contact: editors@asylumonline.net for more information.

Asylum Magazine -  the Magazine for Democratic Psychiatry, is a forum for free debate, open to anyone with an interest in psychiatry or mental health.

Start2 offers a little creative respite

10th-16th June is Carer’s Week

Learn new skills, rekindle old passions and maintain positive wellbeing with Start2.  The responsibilities of being a carer have a strong impact on life – affecting relationships, work, finances, health and wellbeing.  So if you know someone who cares for others do spread the word about Start2 or if you’re a carer yourself, find activities to suit you for that all important ‘me’ time. For a double dose of wellbeing you can also find inspiration for activities to do with those you care for. So download today and top up on your wellbeing.


*Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates and recognises the contribution made by the UK's 6.5 million to the people they care for and their communities.


Best wishes


The Start2 team