District nurses from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust are helping local residents across the Bradford district to look after their mental wellbeing.

Working together with Baildon Community Link, the caring nurses have been distributing ‘mindfulness bags,’ which demonstrate how to use the five senses, to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation and technique which involves making a special effort to notice what is happening in the present moment. It is believed to help reduce stress, boosts working memory, help people become less reactive, as well as increase empathy and compassion.

The bags contain items which stimulate the five senses, including honey and ginger biscuits, chamomile tea and a decorate-you-own windchime with instructions.

The bags were created by the Community Link, who have been running a mindfulness project to support local people to strengthen their mental wellbeing. They also included information on how to practice mindfulness in order to be more resilient to negative emotions.

Sam, Student Nurse, and local resident June with her mindfulness bag
Sam, Student Nurse, and local resident June with her mindfulness bag

One patient said “it was a lovely surprise” to receive the bag, and patients have credited the mindfulness project with helping to boost their emotional wellbeing and making a difference to their mental health.

Sam Metcalfe, Student Specialist Practitioner District Nurse, said: “We are so lucky to have such strong links with groups such as the Baildon Community Link in this area; not everywhere is so fortunate. I often refer residents to the Link as they are a great support, providing resources but also friendship and company to those who need it.

“This Self Care Week I would really encourage everyone to try something new for their mental health – start a journal, a new activity club or mindfulness – and see if it works for them. It’s the ‘little and often’ things which really support good mental wellbeing.”