Be Well, Feel Well blog: Achievement – May
May is Achievement: We all need to feel that we are achieving things and growing. These don’t have to be huge achievements either. Achievements can be small tasks, like cooking a meal for ourselves, which give us the sense that we are in control of our lives and managing. Achievement is good for our self-esteem; especially if we are doing something we are good at and learning to get better.
What does it mean to meet our need for achievement
Small steps can make a big difference
When you hear the word ‘achievement’ what does it mean to you? This varies from person to person and isn’t necessarily about competing with others or about being the best at something.
We all need to feel that we are achieving things and growing. These don’t have to be huge achievements either. Achievements can be small tasks, like cooking a meal, which gives us the sense that we are in control of our lives and managing. Achievement is good for our self-esteem, especially if we are doing something we are good at and learning to improve.
Some useful tips for meeting the need for achievement are:
- Keep lists of tasks short. Lists which are too long or unrealistic can quickly overwhelm us, increase worrying, disrupt our sleep and self-esteem. Instead, make it easy. Give yourself one easy task you know you can complete in a short space of time, to build confidence with future tasks
- Make a list of skills you may have learnt when you were young but take for granted. These can be things like colouring-in, cooking an omelette, writing a postcard, doing an easy crossword or reading your favourite book. Put some time aside to practice the skill and remind yourself of how it feels to do something you are good at
- Why not try learning something new? There are plenty of online tutorials available, from taking up a new hobby or trying out DIY
- Try volunteering, giving some of your time to help others, which can be a great source of achievement
- Why not set yourself a challenge, such as walking for 20 minutes each day, and then doing a bit more over time?
How small achievements can boost self-esteem
Check out the article written by Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education at Suffolk Mind about achievement
Rock Paper Scissors
Rock Paper Scissors is a grass roots community arts organisation. Our focus is on creative learning - our role is to build confidence and encourage aspiration in our young artists. We teach problem solving and independent thinking through art & design. Our participants build confidence through working in small groups and it is important to us to provide a positive and inclusive space for all to shine.
It is a good feeling to know you are achieving and growing in the world. The team at Rock, Paper, Scissors have produced a handy download that you can print to help you plan some small steps and log your achievements, so they don’t go unnoticed.
Download your worksheet (PDF, 2.79 MB)
Join the 30 Day What’s Up Challenge
The 30 day What’s Up challenge has been designed and developed by The Source for young people in Suffolk.
The daily feel-good challenges are designed to help keep your mind calm and entertained, it will help improve your mood, give you ideas that you can explore to stay positive and connected with others, whilst also giving you the time to discover new skills and achieve new things!
Learn more and get involved today 30 day What's up Challenge
Jot the friendly robot
If you care for younger children that would benefit from something similar, check out Jot the friendly robot for emotional wellbeing tips for children - Suffolk County Council
Join the Big Suffolk Pledge
Meet your need for Achievement this month by joining the Big Suffolk Pledge with Community Action Suffolk
The Big Suffolk Pledge will run from Friday 5th May to Wednesday 7th June which marks the end of 2023’s Volunteer’s Week, and during these weeks it is hoped that hundreds of groups, charities, organisations, communities, schools and individuals will have confirmed a pledge, in the interest of supporting the success of volunteering in Suffolk
Pledges can be big or small, it could be an employer pledging to start an Employer supported Volunteering scheme, an individual signing up to Volunteer Suffolk, a local charity reviewing their volunteer celebration process, a business leader pledging their premises to host a voluntary organisation’s event, or a busy parent pledging to seek opportunities for their whole family to volunteer
Future Female Society
Future Female Society is here to close the gap in inequality for women and girls in Suffolk. To help to raise self-esteem and confidence levels, broaden personal and career aspirations and help women and girls in our community reach their full potential. We want to support and cultivate creative women who will develop themselves to be the best they can be and help each other to instigate social change.
"I was at a crossroad, a stay at home mum, not quite knowing my next move with two children heading off to high school. The programme enabled me to connect with other mums and reflect on my goals"
"I had lost my sense of self-worth, as well as any sense of who I was as an individual, not just a partner and someone’s mother. I had no idea that the programme would have such an impact on my life"
Woman 2 woman Radio is a fantastic project using radio to build confidence and teach new skills to migrant, refugee and asylum seeking women.
Over the course of the programme the women build confidence and learn new skills in radio, and work towards creating their own radio shows on No Borders radio.
"Everyone at GWYA really supported my Daughter, encouraged her and gave her the tools and opportunities to make her believe in herself.
She now performs regularly at open mics, busks around different towns, performs gigs and loves every minute of what she is doing. Most importantly with a smile on her face"
"Since my daughter has joined GWYA, she has grown in confidence and always comes home from sessions with a smile on her face.
"My daughter has gained experience at performing at Festivals, recording songs, a tour of BBC Suffolk and has participated in the Ipswich Celebrations of 100 years of women’s votes. Most importantly she has made lots of new friends along the way and has met three female models through those who organised the fabulous project."
MN Well Child Support
MN Well-Child Support is a small Lowestoft organisation committed to supporting parents and young people to improve their wellbeing
We recognise that nurturing and developing a young child is challenging and often difficult. Our children do not come with user manuals!
We also know that often accessing support can be time consuming and often feels like constantly jumping through hoops. Many services have thresholds and criteria that seem to be designed to make them difficult to access
Well-Child Support is about offering you the chance to access the assistance you and your child need, in a way which is simple and easy
We offer support in your own home. Our experienced practitioner will visit you in your house to discuss the issues you feel are important and will suggest a programme of intervention
Usually we will then offer weekly sessions, again in your home, where the practitioner will work directly with your child on a 1:1 basis
Using a range of appropriate strategies we will build up a trusting relationship with your child so that often difficult issues can be explored and improved
We do not offer a quick fix. Our support is about using weekly sessions over a prolonged period of time to gain understanding and trust so that improvements can be made which are substantial and long lasting
Billie is a young girl aged 8 who begun to attend the group work due to concerns her parents had about her shy nature and some bullying which had occurred at school. Parents reported that Billie had started to not want to attend school and had said she spent most of break times in the loo by herself
Initially Billie was very quiet and shy in the group, but by the end of the first session she had demonstrated a real interest and talent for painting. In following sessions we exploited this, bringing in extra arts resources and allowing her to experiment with different painting styles. Over time this allowed Billie to become a lot more comfortable in the group and meant that our facilitators were able to begin chatting more with Billie. Eventually she began to open up more about her feelings regarding school and her more general levels of anxiety. With support from parents we put in place some one to one support for Billie and over a number of sessions did some confidence building work and also supported her with some social stories and role playing about approaching her peers and making friends. Billie responded well to these, but our worker identified some traits she felt would be worth exploring for Autism. Mum ultimately decided to take Billie to the GP which resulted in a referral for an ASD assessment which is awaiting. Meanwhile Billie reported that she had begun to make some new friends and one girl in particular had begun to hang out with her at lunchtimes.
Jonnie is a young boy who joined the group work sessions because his parents reported issues with him being able to make friends. Jonnie exhibits a lot of hyperactivity and struggles to focus for long. In the group Jonnie will often need to break away from what he is doing to have a run around the room and towards the end of the hour will be exhausted by trying to concentrate on the art work. To support Jonnie we put in place some simple ADHD strategies, such as multiple short activities and regular brain breaks. We also put in place a bean bag where Jonnie could hang out when he was tired. These strategies made it possible for Jonnie to much better integrate with the other children in the group and after a while Jonnie began to make new friends. He now attends regularly and has a couple of new friends who he works with every week. His mum reports that he really looks forward to the group and talks about his new friends.
Hannah is 13 year old girl who joined the group over concerns that she is very reserved and withdrawn and doesn’t socially interact with anyone. Hannah also has an older sister with signifiant mental health issues, Hannah and her sister were very close, but sister is currently not living at home. Hannah initially joined the group wearing her hoody and had the hood up throughout the sessions. She barely made eye contact and would work in a corner on her own project with the least interaction she could manage. Over time we invested a lot of adult time with Hannah learning more about her, chatting and giving her space to talk. With parents permission we also put in place one to one sessions with our lead practitioner who built up a very positive relationship with Hannah. This gave her the opportunity to explore her feelings about her sister and also allowed her to be more confident in the group. Over time Hannah has developed into a leadership role in the group, often supporting the younger children. Hannah no longer has her hood up!