Welcome to Rainbow After The Storm
When I got the call to say that the college that I was working for as a Mental Health Lecturer was closing due to the pandemic I realised very quickly that I had a choice to make.
You see, I work with the most wonderful souls who along the way have had their own struggles and trauma to deal with. I knew that unlike teaching Spanish or Italian, (which by the way I so couldn’t and have a great deal of respect for anyone who can!) I could not just walk away and think ok we can pick this up some time later in the year. I knew that actually as much as I had been needed before Covid, NOW was the time that I was really needed!
I knew that the changes around us all, the fear, the uncertainty, worry of the unknown and the constant news updates were a recipe for a huge problem for a large part of society, not just right away but potentially longer term.
This ultimately was the inspiration that launched Rainbow After the Storm, or as it was originally know ‘Surviving the lockdown, Wellbeing and Mental Health Tips’.
Our Next Course
Surviving Christmas! Helping with Anxiety and Stress in December.
Starting Tuesday 1st December 6pm - 7.30pm or catch up in your own time.
4 weeks of teaching, 4 weeks of workbooks. Private Facebook Group to share ideas and support.
Gifts, goodies and resources for your mental and emotional wellbeing, all designed to help you de-stress, feel more positive and manage your worries.
I know what always works best for my own mental health and having some structure is the key. So, this is how I went about it, starting with the 1 hour of exercise being the only time that you could leave the house. We had two spaniels and if anyone knows spaniels you will know that they need a good walk each day for everyone’s sanity!
So I decided that my outside time was going to be going around my local park. On one particular walk I thought "I wonder if anyone would be watch online going for our walk". I didn't really expect much response but each day the following grew and the feedback was wonderful. I didn’t realise how many people were unable to get out even for that one trip each day. It became a life line for lots of people and each day I would chat as I wandered along and the interactive messages soon became a big part of our morning … this is how our daily chat and walks started.
This soon developed into a new habit for people. A reason to get up to come and say hello both to me and to others (others who to start with they didn’t know but slowly over time they grew into this amazing supportive community).
Daily Chat and Mindfulness
I followed this with a Daily Chat and Mindfulness session, covering lots of relevant topics around reducing stress, things we could do to look after our self-care, setting small tasks around feeling positive, noticing what we are grateful for and how to feel connected even whilst on our own.
I greeted everyone as they arrived on the daily live each day as if I was meeting them in one of my classes. Soon these classes became more popular as people realised that they weren’t alone in how they were feeling and that is was Ok to not feel OK. Each day the viewing grew and again this started to become a part of people’s new routine.
Friday Night Live Disco
Every Friday at 7pm
Boxing Day Disco 7pm – 10.30pm
New Years Eve Disco 8pm till late
The last part that we started was a Friday night live disco! This started because a normal Friday night in our house involves having music on (usually a selection of 80’s tunes) our very own disco lights and a good old fashioned dance around our living room, I am still not sure how we got to doing Live Discos on a Friday night but I am so glad that we did.
Many years ago, I had been a DJ so to me it was just a normal thing to do. Along with Justin my husband, this has turned into the event of the week and something for everyone to look forward to. We have so much fun and laughter and occasional heartfelt tears that this feels like a family party with everyone interacting from the safety of their own home.
Virtual Care Classes
What I had not appreciated was that whilst the nation was in lockdown this is how many people live their lives, with no interaction, no visitors, no connection, and no window to the outside world.
There are many reasons for this from social anxiety, depression, fear or very sadly old fashioned loneliness. Together we have created a group of people who we may never have reached before, these are the people in many ways who need more support to build confidence and self-esteem even before we can consider getting through the door to one of my face to face classes. This was even more inspiration (as if I needed it) to create our V.C.C (Virtual Care Classes).
As time moved forward, I wanted to add to our offerings and approached a couple of likeminded people to see if they would be able to help Rainbow by adding new content and enjoyment. These new classes have become instant hits, offering advice and tips around ‘mind and body’ and Voice Assembly bringing Gospel Choir into our living rooms each week, where we get the opportunity to sing along and are left feeling invigorated and alive.
Sign up to our newsletter: