May 18-24th is Mental Health Awareness Week

With the Coronavirus lockdown looking set to continue and mental health issues on the rise, people are looking for new ways to keep entertained from home and looking after their mental and physical well-being.

The Stats!

  • Almost one quarter (24 per cent) of UK adults have felt loneliness because of Coronavirus
  • More than four in ten (44 per cent) of young people (aged 18-24 years) have felt loneliness
  • Feelings of loneliness have more than doubled over the lockdown period
  • Charity warns about long-term risk to mental health of loneliness
  • Physical safety is the priority but mental health impacts must be part of policy development

(The survey data, from 2,221 UK adults aged 18 and over, were collected as part of a major UK-wide longitudinal research project called Coronavirus: Mental Health and the Pandemic.)

At The Pilates Pod, we believe that mind AND movement matters.

As the number of people with long-term conditions increases and with an ageing population who may experience high levels of physical inactivity and social isolation, innovative and effective treatments are needed, more than ever!

“Exercise is to the body, what creativity is to the soul”

Pod Director Michelle and Founder of Mind Movement Matters,

How can art and being creative can help with mental wellness?

The arts have an important role to play in helping social isolation by offering help, promoting well-being, an opportunity to creative something positive and joyful and creating a space for social connection.

Engaging in the arts seems to be growing in popularity as a way to improve your wellbeing. Participating in the arts can enable people to deal with a wide range of mental ill health conditions and psychological distress.

Without the need for words or movement, art can help people express themselves.

Social distancing and social isolation has led to a loss of human connection. Arts and creativity can help reach out to support in the community and get like minded people together. Getting in touch with others helps in alleviating loneliness and isolation, leading to improve mood, wellness and connection.

Art can help boost confidence, make us feel more engaged, helps to alleviate issues surrounding anxiety and depression,

Just as Pilates helps give people the tools to help themselves to better physical wellness, the arts can help people with their own responsibility for mental wellness through improved quality of life and joy.

We chat to Director Ed (and local artist/designer, and Brand/Comms Manager for Luton Town FC) about his top tips for art and mental wellbeing.

“Arts and creativity are an important part of the programmes we run at the Mental Health Foundation, art can be a different and fun way to express and talk about emotion.” 

Jolie Goodman, Programmes Manager for Empowerment and Later life.

How The Pilates Pod are helping

From Thursday, Pod Director Ed will be hosting a two hour ‘Virtual Art Club’, giving you a chance to get together with like-minded creatives and enjoy a couple of hours together getting arty and get some headspace.

The Virtual Art Club will be held on Zoom – with a different theme each time – it’s open to all levels, from absolute beginners to professional artists. Each session will be fun and friendly – just as you’d expect from the Pod, and Ed will guide you through some (non-Pilates!) exercises to get you warmed up, before creating your own final pieces.

The first rule of Art Club is that there are no rules – you don’t have to be any good, you can paint, draw, try a collage or use any medium you like. Just bring yourself and your enthusiasm, and whatever materials you have to hand.

At the end of each session, you’ll have a chance to show off your creations during the big reveal.


Thursday 14th May 7.30-9.30pm: FREE
Click here to book now


Our second Art Club is a drawing workshop. We’ll run through some quick sketches and warm-up exercises (non-pilates!) before getting stuck into your own final pieces. No experience necessary, just whatever drawing materials you have at home – pencils, colouring pencils or charcoal for example and some paper. Thursday 28th May, 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Written by Michelle Smith

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