The Mindful Ageing News
Article by Lucy Jenkins
Mindful Ageing is a novel, multifaceted project aimed at people aged fifty-plus. Providing support and resources to maintain a healthy and positive approach to ageing, as well as enhancing the health and wellbeing of our older citizens through awareness of preventative measures against future illness. Simultaneously facilitating social connections and introducing mindfulness in an accessible format. Highly relevant tools in an ageing society.
During the Mindful Ageing Bootcamps in the UK, Greece, Bulgaria, France and Finland, over 70 participants have so far been introduced to Mindfulness concepts and practices and physical activities such as yoga, Tai chi and Zumba. Balanced with reflective practices such as mindful colouring, setting achievable goals, and writing a positive letter to themselves. In conjunction with the necessary theoretical backing. Emphasising the importance and benefit of considering all aspects of health: (mental, spiritual, social, environmental, intellectual and occupational) not just physical. The set tasks and activities served the dual purpose of building connections between the participants, who were looking to maintain fulfilling social activity in retirement - often perceived as an isolating time.
From these Bootcamps, groups of participants that wished to both maintain contact and implement their knowledge formed. Two pilot programmes will run over the partner countries during the period of the project. The first groups in the UK took place in May-June 2022 in a hybrid format, with two group sessions running on zoom, with the final session at Sheffield botanical gardens. The second programme in November 2022 ran entirely over zoom due to the geographical scatter of participants. These programmes reinforced some key concepts such as the wellness wheel and SMART goals. Consolidating the 3 day Bootcamp programme.
The Mindful Ageing programme was successful and overwhelmingly positive. Valuable information was shared in a happy mixture of practical activity and theory, fostering a genuine interest in holistic lifestyle interventions. Reflected in participant testimonials, and their new found abilities to care for and celebrate themselves!
“This course made me feel in control of the next stages of my life.. I also found a great new bunch of friends to go on this journey alongside”
“An excellent workshop for the over fifties. Great balance of physical activities and theory”
“A really refreshing approach to mindfulness. A great reminder that we choose!”