In October 2023 the Cha in the City Open Group for Punjabi men met virtually to discuss the topic of Wellbeing in Winter. Here are some reflections from the brilliant team who facilitate and contribute towards those conversations.
This month the online forum topic for discussion was ‘Wellbeing in Winter’, this was a topic for discussion with varying aspects to discuss including the experience of forum members.
As usual there were some questions to guide the discussion on the topic, although the questions are posed to support the discussions, the conversations often are led by the participants. The questions this month that were offered included - Do the winter months affect your mental well-being? How do you prepare yourself for the winter? What are your tried and tested tips?
This month saw some people returning as well as new participants to the space. It was a great space whereby people had the opportunity to talk about their own personal experiences as well as sharing tips and coping strategies for the winter months.
It was recognised that for some people winter can bring a notable change in routines, social contacts and activity levels that can all impact on our mental wellbeing. Participants also talked about the effect both mentally and physically of the winter months, especially around the shorter days.
What the group shared after acknowledging the challenges of the winter months were creative ways that have helped them to get through the season. Some people talked about physical activity being important and using the gym in the winter, others talked about getting into new hobbies or learning new skills. It is also a time for people to enjoy some of the simpler past times such as reading and listening to music.
The group also talked about other things they did on a day-to-day basis for their mental well-being which whilst important in winter are things they do throughout the year, these included writing reflections on how things are going for them, gratitude lists as well as digital detoxes.
There was also a healthy discussion around food in the winter months and how diet plays a role in the season change, there were some great tips around diet for both health and comfort foods to maintain healthy lifestyle.
The discussion even moved into different cooking appliances available to make life a little easier including air fryers and slow cookers – where else would a group of Punjabi men talk so broadly around topics like this? This is what makes the forums such a great place to not only share experience, strengths, and hope but also just to connect.
The forums are a great safe place to explore issues that have an impact either directly or indirectly to our wellbeing. Participating in the facilitated spaces are a great opportunity to share and hear about a range of subjects, and we are always keen to hear from participants about subjects for future forums.