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OVER THIRTEEN HEALTH RELATED AWARENESS DAYS, WEEKS AND FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2021…

During the month of May there are over thirteen health related awareness days as well as weeks and awareness for month of May. I will try and cover each of the list below throughout this month and May to keep you up to date with the latest news.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day on May 15th – This year’s theme is spinal cord injury at any age. Post it on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to add #LivingWithSCI. Aspire – supporting people with spinal injury.

World Red Cross Day May 8th and British Red Cross Week May 4th-9th – The BRC have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone all planned public collections activity this year. This comes after carefully considering the risks of Covid-19 (coronavirus) on the health, safety and wellbeing of our amazing volunteer collectors and generous donors. However you can still help raise awareness by becoming a virtual bucket shaker means that you can still collect donations, bring your community together and raise vital funds for people in crisis. It’s quick and easy, just click the ‘Become a Virtual Bucket Shaker’ link and register for your online fundraising page now!

International ME Awareness Day May 12th and ME Awareness Week May 11th-17th – Centred on ME Awareness Day on May 12th, ME Awareness Week is a time when everyone we know puts all their valuable energy into telling the world that M.E. is a real and physical disease. Go Blue 4 ME, one of the ME Association’s most successful regular fundraising campaigns, will run again in 2020. It will be held during ME Awareness Week in May: Monday, May 11 – Sunday, May 17.

World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day May 12th and Fibromyalgia Awareness Month for May 1st-30th – May is the month we all come together to educate and raise awareness about Fibromyalgia with friends and family, at work, and in our neighborhoods. Take part to share the facts, and make a difference for all those impacted by Fibromyalgia, #SupportFibro. Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12th and World Lupus Day is May 10th. Get ready to turn the month of May purple!

World Lupus Day May 10th, Lupus is a complicated condition which is still very poorly understood by the public and many within the medical profession. There are many ways that you can help to raise awareness of lupus within the community just head to the World Lupus Day website.

Arthritis Care Awareness Week May 14th-21st, Arthritis Care Awareness Week is a UK based event which raises awareness about arthritis, gathers support for people with this condition, and highlights the work of Arthritis Care, a charity which supports this event. Arthritis is a condition marked by painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. There are many types of arthritis which can affect a person in different ways. More details on the Awareness Week on Versus Arthritis website.

International Nurses Day May 12th, International Nurses Day (IND) is observed around the world May 12 (the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820). The day is set aside to honor and note the many contributions nurses make to society. Nurses care for our loved ones at some of the most challenging times of their lives. Use #InternationalNursesDay or #VoiceToLead to share on social media.

Make May Purple/Action on Stroke Month May 1st-30th, Make May Purple is our Stroke Association fundraising and awareness campaign that coincides with National Stroke Awareness month – May. Whatever you do, don’t forget to tag the Stroke Association on social media using #MakeMayPurple and let us know what you’re up to! Lots of ideas on how to raise funds and awareness on the Stroke Association website.

Mental Health Day May 6th and Mental Health Awareness Week May 18th-23rd and Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week May 3rd-9th,#MaternalMHMatters

World MS Day May 30th, The 2020-2022 World MS Day theme is ‘connections’. MS Connections is all about building community connection, self-connection and connections to quality care. 

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THREE GREAT BOOKS TO HELP YOU BRING THE ART OF MINDFULNESS HOME…

A Mindful Day – 365 Ways To Live Life by David Dillard-Wright £10.99

From the author of A Mindful Morning and A Mindful Evening comes a guide with 365 positive affirmations and short meditation exercises you can do to relax and unwind at a moment’s notice, A mindful Day.

With all the struggles of modern life, it’s easy to get lost in a whirlwind of stress, worry, and indifference. Between work, family, and day-to-day tasks, it can be hard to find a moment of peace. By taking just a few minutes a day to meditate, you can improve your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

A Mindful Day is an easy way to quiet your body and mind. With 365 affirmations as well as soothing mindfulness meditations, you can learn how to take a break from your day and find peace whenever you need it the most. Simple exercises like focusing on your breathing or listening to the sounds in nature can calm your nerves and melt away the demands of modern life.

Spending time to get in touch with your soul can help you achieve true balance and tranquility. Let A Mindful Day help release your stress and find the peace you deserve. Or, treat someone you know could really benefit from this book for Christmas.

I Am Peace – A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde for children, £9.01

When the world feels chaotic, find peace within through an accessible mindfulness practice from the bestselling picture-book dream team that brought us I Am Yoga. Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth. Wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Breathe, taste, smell, touch, and be present.

Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan Verde’s gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds’s expressive watercolor illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a kid-friendly level. Featuring an author’s note about the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I Am Peace

With our world in a difficult place at the moment this book would be perfect for any child who seems to be struggling with everything to do with the pandemic.

For the skeptic – The Mindful Geek – Secular Meditation for Smart Skeptics by Michael W Taft £9.99

The Mindful Geek details how to derive the benefits of mindfulness meditation without having to join a religion or drink metaphysical Kool-Aid. In the book, Michael Taft gives you step-by-step instructions in the powerful and reliable techniques of mindfulness meditation, and outlines the psychological and neuroscientific research underpinning these practices.

An excellent book for beginners who are atheists, agnostics, and skeptics of all stripes who want help with anxiety, depression, and to enjoy life more.

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HOW TO RELAX AND BEAT OFF STRESS THE NATURAL WAY…

The Japanese who live no where near any countryside just find a wood and use a technique called ‘shining-yoko’, also known as ‘forest bathing’ to help them relax and beat off stress the natural way.

It involves spending time in the woods and the idea is to let nature enter through all five senses. The practice is said to help lower your blood pressure, fight depression and beat stress.

The Guardian writes ‘ it is believed that time spent under the green canopy is critical in fighting a number of diseases and conditions’. Some Japanese spend a regular few day’s in the forest and Forestry England Forest bathing, which despite its name does not involve water. Forestry England have some top tips and activities to get you going, which include,

  • Turn off your devices to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience.
  • Slow down. Move through the forest slowly so you can see and feel more.
  • Take long breaths deep into the abdomen. Extending the exhalation of air to twice the length of the inhalation sends a message to the body that it can relax.
  • Stop, stand or sit, smell what’s around you, what can you smell?
  • Take in your surroundings using all of your senses. How does the forest environment make you feel? Be observant, look at nature’s small details.
  • Sit quietly using mindful observation; try to avoid thinking about your to-do list or issues related to daily life. You might be surprised by the number of wild forest inhabitants you see using this process.
  • Keep your eyes open. The colours of nature are soothing and studies have shown that people relax best while seeing greens and blues.
  • Stay as long as you can, start with a comfortable time limit and build up to the recommended two hours for a complete forest bathing experience.

They want you to let us know how you get along!

The NHS have a social prescribinglist which includes volunteering, sports activities, and gardening as a way to feel better. Forest bathing is a chance for people to take time out, slow down and connect with nature. They describe ‘social prescribingworks for a wide range of people, including people:

  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year camping has become extremely popular. In fact my respective family and child have always camped but this year was their first one with my young (12 month) granddaughter. Every time they camped my daughter would say she would ‘go out like a light’ when put to bed.