Listen, we get it.
We know sitting here to do this might feel a bit strange, different, weird, or scary. Or you might be fine.
In both cases the first thing to say is nice one for giving it a try. It's good to take yourself out of your comfort zone every once in a while and try new things, especially when those things are about developing yourself, learning new skills and empowering you to be the best you.
At the same time, you will become part of a national movement of like-minded people, opportunities, stories, adventures and communities of support.
It's great that you’re here, as we start this part of the journey together.
We’ll go on to what Bazaar is in a minute but it makes sense to first spend a bit of time getting to know your mentor, who is going to be with you all the way.
You’re going to be spending the next 7 or 8 weeks together so it makes sense to say hello, introduce one another, tell each other a bit about your story and then we can get underway.
Let's get the housekeeping underway.
We want to make sure we have taken your safety seriously, and we won’t skirt around asking the questions we need, to check in that you are safe.
So each week, before you get into things, there are a few standard questions which we will ask you.
These are below. At the same time as checking you are safe and if needed, getting you additional support, we are going to record some scores each week as a way of you being able to see your progress through Bazaar.
We are totally confident that if you invest a bit of time in the things you learn, build a bit of routine around the programme and go into this from a position of curiosity and openness, you will see these scores improve.
Ultimately though, you can still feel a big benefit and transformation.
Answer these questions now. Again, the more open you can be and the more you put into Bazaar, the more you will get out of it.
We will ask you these questionnaires today, on Week 5 and Week 8. They are standard clinical tools to measure for the presence of anxiety and depression. We will not be attempting to diagnose you or put labels on you.
Let's talk about the format of each week.
We’re going to organise each week into three areas. We’re going to first set the scene, then we're going to learn some information, skills, and techniques. Next we’re going to spend time putting it into practice and applying to our own lives.
There’s going to be some self-guided parts to get you doing some digging around theories, concepts and approaches, tasks to be carried out and ultimately loads of conversation with your mentor.
It’s important to remember that they are not here as a counsellor, expert or teacher, think of them as walking alongside you on your journey and a sounding board.
Someone who is here to add conversation, helpful insight and interaction and a voice to discuss and unpick things as we go through, to make it real for you and your life. We could spend all day learning about the mind, but unless it’s real to you and your mind, what’s the point?
We want to make peace with the past, and look forward to the future. The main focus of Bazaar is going to be on changes you can make in the present – learning skills to be the best version of yourself, with a life you want to live.
The idea is to now draw a line under anything that’s gone before, start with a clean slate and park any preconceptions.
If you have done any form of support, counselling or therapy before, talk about how that went with your mentor now. If you haven’t done any, talk about what you are expecting.
If you’re worried, unconvinced or hesitant tell us that too! It’s totally understandable.
It’s not about us having answers at this stage, it’s about you and your mentor being in sync and on the same page.
Ok, let's start thinking about mental health and general wellbeing.
What do the concepts above mean to you? Discuss with your mentor and make some notes.
We have provided some definitions and explanations. It’s important that we have a clear idea of what we are going to be exploring.
Your mental health and physical health affect each other, as you will see...
On your worksheet there is a picture of a brain. On this, write down any emotions you have been feeling lately. On the picture of a body, write down any bodily sensations you have been experiencing.
For today’s final exercise, set yourself 3 goals you would like to achieve in the next 8 weeks.
We will review these in our final session together.
At the heart of Bazaar is our Drills.
Drills are your opportunities during the week to put the stuff we go through into practice. It’s so important you do them. Set a reminder on your phone, post notes on the fridge or whatever you need to do to make it happen. You will discuss your drills with your mentor at the start of each week.
Also, make the most of your account area when you login to the library. It’s filled with exercises, articles, interviews, opportunities, soundtracks and much more to make your Bazaar journey the best and most transformational it can be.
This week you will need to complete a mood diary.
Yes, keeping a diary is a bit old school, but it’s a really useful tool to record how you have been feeling and what you have been doing. It can be beneficial to reflect on experiences and emotions and it can help you to monitor which things have a positive impact on your mood as well as what things present as challenges.
Also, by doing this you may be able to see if there are certain times or days in the week which are more challenging. Keeping a diary can also help you take responsibility for improving your well-being and mood and can also be used long-term to track progress.
Before you go each week, we want to slot in a short mindfulness exercise. We will go into detail about what this is in future weeks but for now, give it a go please.
All you need to do is sit back, close your eyes and relax. For now, try and be aware of when your mind wanders while you are listening to the audio, because we’re pretty sure it will!
When it does, bring your attention back to the audio. As we say, we will build on this and explain mindfulness in more detail but this gets the ball rolling.
After each mindfulness session, we will be asking you to think of one thing you are grateful for in your life. It can be absolutely anything. We will cover the benefits of gratitude later in the course, but for now, just think of something that you are thankful for.
What are you grateful for?🙏
Write this down now.
At the end of each session, we will be finishing off with a positive affirmation.
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.
❤️ I am worthy. I am loved. I am enough.
Finally, more housekeeping I’m afraid and a question to help us improve. Each week we will be doing a session summary!
This week we cracked on with an introduction into mental health and emotional wellbeing. You set some goals that are going to be reviewed throughout the weeks and now you are on the road to building a better future!