Can board games improve mental health? I think so. I am a total board game geek, and we have a good chunk of a bookcase bursting with them. We are also in the process of ‘up-geeking’ our kids (favourites at the moment include Catan Junior and Castle Panic if you are interested 😉 ). They are a fun way to spend time, give you small, solvable problems to engage with and a sense of reward (or loss of course!). But is there more to it?
Board games and mental health
Although I love playing games, I never really thought of the effect that they can have on mental health before. But I recently stumbled across a blog from a board game developer which explores just this – from a very personal and insightful perspective. It is a powerful piece and makes a strong argument that board games – or more accurately the opportunities they provide – can improve mental health in a fairly unique way. To me, it also highlights the importance of social connections and made me think of other collective activities I’ve written about before, like gardening, singing, and others. These are all things which are tougher or impossible to do at the moment for many of us, and that makes me sad. It also reminds me we need to find meaningful substitutes for these forms for connection and psychological nourishment.
Anyhow, you can check out the blog which triggered these musings via the link below.
Blog post from ITB, who also develop cool games!
Take care till next time
It is a strange and, for many, a really difficult time. I hope you are all managing as well as possible and that your and yours are all doing ok…
I know its been a while since the last post (hopefully that will change soon) but I think that a project I am currently taking part in may be of interest to many of you, and I wanted to share an opportunity to take part…
What is the ‘psychology’ of epidemic diseases?
This is the question we are exploring! I’m part of a team at London South Bank University who are exploring how we respond psychologically to events such as the COVID19 outbreak – we have some studies we have completed the initial phases of work for already (such as looking at how being in a group changes the way we feel about disease), but also some that are currently recruiting. If you’d like to help us, you may be able to volunteer to take part in one in particular…
What does it involve?
In brief, we are looking for people to spend about 30-40 minutes with us to do an interview via phone or Skype, discussing how they seek out, understand and evaluate information around corona virus.
Who can take part?
We are looking for volunteers who are English speakers living in the UK who are aged between 20-30 years old and also UK ex-pats who live in Hong Kong of any age.
How can I find out more?
Easy! just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with an information sheet which has full details 🙂 Equally, please share this invite with anyone you know who may be interested and eligible to take part 🙂
Regardless of whether this is of interest or not, I really hope you are all able to stay as healthy (physically and, of course, psychologically) as possible over the coming weeks, not matter what is thrown at you. I also hope that when silver linings do appear (whether this is being less busy and taking time to yourself, being more busy learning new skills, or just appreciating the sunshine through kitchen window) you are able to grab the opportunity…
The future of social prescribing workshop.
Some time ago, I wrote a post on social prescribing. Since then, I have ended up doing some research in this field. I am also helping to host a British Psychological Society sponsored workshop exploring ‘Challenges to Social Prescribing’. The London event will be taking place in November. If your are involved in the field, or just plain interested, I would love it if you could join us…. I am even giving a talk 🙂 Find out more below…
Continue reading “Free Social Prescribing event in London”
The power of social connections and the rise of social prescribing
One way of dealing with stress is to draw on the positive social identities in our lives. A growing body of research suggests that the social connections we have can buffer us from the effects of traumatic events, improve mental health and also let us bounce back from physical ailments more quickly. In the guise of ‘social prescribing’, this idea is also increasingly being used to find ways to replace or compliment medicine.
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Stressed? Just go for a run?
We all know that exercise is good for us physically, but it also has dramatic effects on our psychological motivation, focus and wellbeing. And you don’t have to run marathons to benefit from it. But what are the exact mechanisms of these effects, and how much exercise do we need to do to achieve them?
Continue reading “The psychology of stress and exercise”