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Wimbledon’s First Breathe Café

Do you ever find yourself seeking a place where you can retreat and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Somewhere you can take a deep breath, eat nourishing food and find some support?

Local healthy eating café Lu-Ma have collaborated with mental health charity, Shawmind, to open the first ‘Breathe Café’ in Wimbledon Town Centre.

The concept of a Breathe Café, was created by mental health charity Shawmind, and is a safe space where the public can go and read books in the wellbeing library, connect with a volunteer and find resources to help support them. Breathe Cafés are not clinics or therapy sessions, and volunteers provide signposting and active listening support only – it does not replace the advice of a mental health professional. The idea stems from the notion that early intervention in this way, can help head off more serious mental health challenges in individuals in the future.

Maria Jessiman, co-owner of the family-run café added:

“We look forward to opening a space where people can feel seen, heard and valued without judgement. All our food is created with the purpose to help keep the mind and body in balance. We are proud to be creating a hub in the heart of Wimbledon to help support our community in other ways. We know how much mental health and wellbeing matters, especially after the past year.”

The plant-based healthy food café Lu-Ma, was born out of a desire to provide a hub in the heart of Wimbledon to help support the physical and mental wellbeing of the community. Mental health has always been something close to Maria and her family’s heart. This new initiative adds another dimension to the café which has previously held wellbeing events, meditations and courses, and looks to continue to do more in the future.

You can find a well-being library, resources and a volunteer trained in active listening, all within the café – located at 43 Worple Road, Wimbledon, SW19 4JZ. Simply scan the QR code which is visible throughout the venue. To find out more click here.

Maintain a Healthy Mind and Body

A new year often signals a time for people to introduce new, different, or healthier habits into their routines. Many of us have been left feeling deflated, unmotivated and frustrated with the ongoing pandemic so we’ve put together some great tips, with the help of local Wimbledon charity Wimbledon Guild, on how to maintain a healthy mind and body in 2021.

Nourish Your Mind

Many of us will be feeling overwhelmed, low or anxious due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are many ways in which you or those around you, can get help in these times, to ensure you maintain a healthy mind.

Local teenage mental health charity, Stem4, who have won several awards for their specially-designed free mobile apps, have a wealth of resources available to help teenagers deal with issues of anxiety, low mood, depression, self-harm, resilience and much more. Find out more here, including their new Mood Move app which helps improve mood by encouraging teenagers to increase their motivation to carry out a variety of tasks in order to help them to move forward, take control and feel positive.

Talking Therapies

Wimbledon Guild’s Talking Therapies provides professional psychological support for adults across Merton who are experiencing difficulties. Due to the current lockdown, this service is currently offered remotely – either online or by telephone. See some great mental health tips from the Head of Talking Therapies, Adil Qureshi, and how to know when to ask for help.

Three tops tips for positive mental health during periods of stress (e.g. due to Coronavirus):

My top three tips for staying mentally health due to the stress caused by the impact of Coronavirus are: make a list, calm the body and relax your muscles. To note, these tips may work for you and that is great but one or even all of these tips won’t work for you that is totally fine too. If that is the case I encourage you to continue to look for tips or make some up for yourself that you can draw on when you are feeling stressed. The tips I have used below draw on cognitive, body and mindfulness skills that may or may not be useful to you.

  1. Make a list
    When you have relaxed out of feeling stressed I would encourage you to keep a list to better understand what causes you to get into this frame of mind. Have a column to write down the event that was happening when you felt stress, a column for what you noticed going on for you before you were stressed, during the stressful event and after it. From keeping this list and looking at it you will be able to see over time the patterns of behaviour that cause you to become more stressed and what helps alleviate this.
  2. Calm the body
    When life is getting difficult it is useful to take a moment to just pay attention to what is going on. This can be done by stopping what you are doing, which means no moving, talking, thinking and just freeze for a moment. Once you have done this, take a couple of deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and just observe what is going on in your body and around you.
  3. Relax your muscles
    There are apps out their like headspace and calm that can help you do this tip to start with or you can look to YouTube for a free tutorial on it. With this exercise (referred to as paired muscle relaxation) you want to tense and relax parts of your body one at a time starting with your feet and moving up. Remember to also tense and relax muscles in your face and mouth. By doing this exercise you may be able to release tension that your body is holding.

How do I know when it’s time to ask for help?

Asking for help can be difficult at the best of times and you may feel with everything that is going on in the world at the moment that your issues may not be that big in the grand scheme of things. Don’t let this thinking stop you for getting help. It is best to get support when you feel that your issue is not that big and not at the point of starting not to cope with things. If you allow your issues to get worse it can become harder to seek help and the support you need may be greater than if you got it when you first started to feel overwhelmed.

For more details on Talking Therapies, contact Wimbledon Guild on 020 8296 0030.

Or see Merton Council’s webpage here, dedicated to adult mental health needs.

Feed Your Body Right

Keep your body in check with a variety of natural supplements, health foods, ayurvedic and herbal teas, plus lots more from Health Zone Wimbledon. The new Zéro waste shop in Centre Court Shopping Centre also offers a great selection of organic fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains, which can are all sold without packaging – simply bring your own containers and fill them to the level you want.

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Stay Fit with Virtual Exercise Classes

Exercise is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Many health clubs in Wimbledon have continued to inspire by offering online fitness classes.

Jiva Health offers online yoga and pilates classes which help with everything from letting go of stress, correcting muscular imbalances and improving posture, and reconnecting with yourself via movement. A great way to train the mind and body into a healthier state.

Or if you prefer a harder HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) then Fitness Space have a range of classes which include short bursts of intense exercise to aid fat loss, increase strength, burn calories and get your heart rate up!

Invest in your health and try out the latest fitness technology from The F.I.T Partnership, such as Cryotherapy and Vasper, designed to maximise health, wellness and longevity goals.

See the full list of health clubs in Wimbledon here.