Recently the team at Rennafix ran an uplifting and inspiring Instagram competition to help promote positive mental health. The theme of the competition was to capture moments engaging in activities that release endorphins. Although exercise is known as an effective way of releasing these ‘happy hormones’, eating the right foods and making connections socially can also boost your endorphins, liven your mood and release stress.
Participants were encouraged to get outdoors, socialise and/or eat well, then take a quick picture and post to their Instagram account with the appropriate hash-tag;
Why #Eatingwell? The concept is that diet does not mean restriction, diet is simply ‘what’ you eat, not ‘how much’ you eat. For example, notice how your eyes widen at the sight of fresh fruit and vegetables, even the sight of coloured healthy food stimulates your senses and initiates the release of endorphins. Alternatively, in times of stress, warm wholesome meals become a nourishing comfort food, relaxing endorphins massage their way into your stress centers, releasing tensions and anxiety.
Why #Socialising? Making connections and creating support helps us to re-connect with each other and find reasons to laugh. It’s an everyday, immediate way to give yourself an endorphin rush. The act of laughing with friends stimulates the production of endorphins and helps you feel good instantly. Laughter helps to relieve stress and has many other physical and emotional benefits.
Why #Gettingoutdoors? Well it’s simple, which of these situations sounds more appealing to you: taking a walk outdoors or strolling through the office? Being outside can actually offer relief for everything from basic negativity to depression. Studies from various universities have shown similar results in that people who walked, biked, or ran in nature had a lower risk of poor mental health than people who worked-out indoors. Interaction with nature gives your brain a break from everyday over-stimulation, it can have a restorative effect and can even improve your ability to focus. Doing any kind of exercise releases endorphines but there is a special kind of magic in trying something that is NEW to you. Whether it is skipping or sky-diving, it might just be time for you to dip your toe into the great outdoors.
The competition closed Sept 13th and 3 lucky winners were chosen by a judging panel of three of Sligo’s most successful professional photographers, Ciaran McHugh, Suzie McCanny and Colin Gillen. The combined value of all prizes was over €1000 with the winner of the #Eatingwell category receiving a hamper of delicious and healthy foods from Shells Cafe and vouchers from Mammy Johnston’s, Knox, The Sweet Beat, Kate’s Kitchen and Cafe Fleur. The winner of #socialising category received a selection of vouchers from Fifth on Teeling, the Hawkswell Theatre and The Model Sligo along with year long access to all Spike Comedy and Rennafix events in 2016. The #Gettingoutdoors category winner received another superb selection of vouchers from Call of the Wild and some of Sligo’s top activity providers, North West Adventure Tours, iSurf Ireland, SUPforAll and Island View Riding Stables.
Rennafix continues to support positive mental health initiatives in our community. Privately they provide activity vouchers to individuals in therapy, the number of individuals availing of the service in 2015 has increased 3-fold since 2014. This means more people in therapy are using activities to compliment their recovery.
Feedback from therapists: ‘One woman has told me that she is so grateful for the gym vouchers, she’s said that going to the gym has helped her to feel better about herself, she came in specifically to say thank you – she visibly looked brighter and happier.’
‘Another woman has said that the help she has received has improved not only her mental but also her physical health. As a result of this she has been able to work on and secure a project that she had to put on hold for years.’
But we all have our part to play in promoting positive mental health and seeing people stepping up and stepping out encourages all of us to keep going. Rennafix encourages Instagram users to continue embracing life in which ever way feels right to you and where you can please do share those feel good moments with us @rennafixgroup. [#havinalaugh #Eatingwell #socialising #gettingoutdoors & #positivesligo]
This Instagram project was funded by Sligo Leader Partnership Company, another great support in our community. If you would like to support Rennafix simply come out to their next event and have a good time, or to donate visit www.havinalaugh.ie.