How wellbeing boxes are making every day better at Exemplar

What is a wellbeing box? What is wellbeing?

Wellbeing is a state of being comfortable, happy and healthy. No matter an individual’s circumstances, everyone should be able to reach this state of mind. Service users within Exemplar homes have a range of complex behavioural needs, often making it difficult for them to feel happy or comfortable within themselves. Activities teams, care and support staff, even the chefs provide a service to residents which encourages them to become more comfortable within themselves, be cared for and manage their behaviour.

With mental-ill health awareness increasing, wellbeing boxes are becoming increasingly popular. Wellbeing boxes are personalised boxes, designed to suit personal tastes, filled with items or props that individual finds most relaxing or encouraging. For example, Janet at Otterburn loves nothing more than the karaoke, and so her individual prop in the wellbeing box is a microphone, representing the karaoke.

These boxes encourage an individual in crisis to overcome their negative train of thought, control their behaviour and potentially develop their skills at the same time. Many of us believe the best way to keep a healthy mind is by having a healthy body – and training your mind and putting your brain through its own work-out is just as important.

Service users at two Exemplar homes are now using wellbeing boxes; Otterburn in Birmingham and Neville Court in Barnsley. Both homes are trialling the boxes as part of their in-house activities, with the view to roll this out across all Exemplar homes. The boxes have been put together based on the activities service users enjoy, with an item or a prop to recognise their favourite activity – from quizzes, board games, karaoke, racing remote control cars to books and so much more.

Each activity provides sensory benefits – something for service users to touch, use, smell or taste. Sensory activities help to reawaken a person’s memories and capabilities, or develop new ones, which in turn has a calming effect on complex behaviours. This ability to self-manage their behaviour is one more step towards further independence.

Wellbeing boxes are reviewed regularly, with the service users. Asking individuals which activity they would like to be included within the box each week ensures they remain engaged, allowing them to lead the activity. Not only does completing the activity itself develop a person’s skills an independence, it also has a positive impact on confidence and social skills.

Exemplar support everyone from staff to service users in developing skills and knowledge for a better state of mind. Taking time out to be more creative or to simply have fun is one way to reach a state of wellbeing.

At Exemplar, we want our service users to feel that every day is better, so we encourage individuals to be happy, socialise, develop and maintain life skills and be fulfilled in every way.