Well I’d like to start by wishing you all a Happy New Year.

I imagine, like me, the current covid lockdown has you all feeling rather fed up, but hopefully the news on the continued vaccine rollout is allowing you to feel able to ‘hang on in there’ while we battle through what we hope will be the home stretch.

Adult Learning will not be running any ‘in person’ courses this half term but we still have lots running online to keep you occupied on these chilly days and evenings.

You can see all the available courses on our booking pages here

Why not start the new year by giving something completely new a whirl?

We have Bridge courses, Family History, Film Studies, lots of Gardening and History.

Health and Wellbeing, ICT, Literature and Creative Writing, Music and Philosophy.

Lots of different Painting and Drawing courses as well as Language courses in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Getting support and staying well

I know this current situation is pretty horrible but there is support out there if you need it.
If you need help with food, medicine or essential tasks you can contact the Council covid support line on 0800 694 0184 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends.

It perfectly normal to be feeling bored, frustrated or lonely.  As well as feeling anxious and low.  All perfectly normal reactions to our current situation.

Public Health England have some useful advice on coping at the moment you can find their guidance here.

Some of their suggestions include adapting and creating new routines, connecting with others, a quick phone call, and email or even a postcard may help you feel connected and brighten a friend’s day.

Its ok to talk about your worries and if you don’t want to do that with friends and family there are some recommended helplines.

Looking after yourself physically, taking some gentle exercise, eating well and keeping hydrated.
Keeping your mind active and doing things you enjoy. Of course, you can join an adult learning class, but you could also dig out a jigsaw, tackle a crossword puzzle or focus on a hobby.

A new word has been floating around this year ‘doomscrolling’ it means the act of consuming large quantity of negative online news, often without pause and to the detriment of the consumers mental health.    I bet we have all done a bit of that this year.  I know I have caught myself reading or watching news for long periods where they are often just repeating what was said in the first five minutes or first article.  Its good to be informed but too much can be very overwhelming!

You can also get advice and support from:

Call 0808 808 0330 for emotional support, open 7pm to 11pm

Email info@bristolmind.org.uk or call 0117 980 0370 for information about services, open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm

January facts

January is named after the god Janus – known as the god of new beginnings.  Janus has two faces which allowed him to look both backwards and forwards between the years.  He was ‘the spirit of the opening’.

January has a reputation as a bit of a depressing month, with Christmas over, dark nights looming and people feeling the financial pinch after the festive season. Blue Monday is thought to be the most depressing day usually the third Monday so the 18th this year.

But its not all bad…

  • January is National Soup Month, Hot Tea Month and National Hobby Month.
  • Today the 8th of January is World Typing Day
  • The 10th of January is National Houseplant Appreciation Day.
  • 18th January is Winnie the Pooh Day – in honour of A A Milnes birthday as well as Martin Luthur King Jr day (the 3rd Monday in January).
  • The 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day – plenty of those at Stoke Lodge.
  • The 23rd is National Pie Day and National Handwriting Day
  • The 24th is the International Day of Education
  • The 25th is of course Burns Night
  • And the 29th is National Puzzle Day

Those of us with birthdays in January will also know that January babies are either Capricorn (until the 19th) or Aquarius, have the Carnation as their birth flower and Garnet as their birth stone.
Take care and stay safe

Kind regards