Last Year, we at Equilibrio Advisory LLP through our Mental Health at Work Vertical partnered with @Gaysi for the annual Gaysi Zine Bazaar, a celebration of queer identity, art, expression and creativity. This took place on the 29th and 30th of October 2022 in Mumbai.
As supporting partners, we were able to bring in a professional focus to mental health and wellbeing through activities, zines and conversations with participants and the team!
One of the interesting activities we had running across the 2 days included the EMOTION WHEEL. Participants coming in were invited to identify their dominant emotion on the wheel as they entered our table space.
An interesting aspect of how the wheel progressed according to our team was that there were marked broad changes across the day, with the tendency towards more positively viewed emotions being dominant, especially at the start of the day.
Over the 2 days, we were also able to connect with some queer artists, and others who engaged in meaningful conversation as they engaged in the activity. For a lot of people the beginning of the day seemed more positive and hopeful, however some members did also indicate levels of anxiety showing up, especially towards the latter half of the day.
A few people shared how difficult it was to pin down exactly what emotions was being dominantly experienced, and a few also shared how vulnerable it felt to indicate those emotions that seemed less “positive”.
Self Care Bingo
Another interactive aspect of the space included the self-care bingo! The instructions were simple – participants had to reflect on the week gone by and tick off as many listed acts of selfcare that they had engaged in.
This was our attempt to build conversation around Mental Health and Selfcare. The intention was to spotlight through this simple activity, the steps one is currently taking towards building one’s own resources and suggest ways in which one could bring in active changes that promote selfcare.
We incentivised the activity, allowing those who were able to get a line to choose an affirmation card that resonated with them.
While a few people were able to get the selfcare activities ticked off in a line, it was not so simple for many other people there. Some people shared how they were unable to think of a single thing that they had done for themselves in the previous week, and the emotions that came up because of it.
Our conversations aimed to spotlight that the emotions coming up were indicators of wanting to get back to self care and also included discussions around what acts that were not on the sheet held meaning for them, and what acts could bring in a sense of self care for them.
Others shared how vulnerable the activity made them feel. We were fortunate to even connect with some mental health practitioners and educators who shared that the bingo was a great reminder to them to return to the basics of selfcare as a priority.
The Selfcare conversations really helped us create space for the Radical Rest workshop organised by Gaysi for the exhibitors and really got us reflecting on the space that rest itself holds in our selfcare routines.
The intention of this corner was to create a space where participants could actively practice that pause, and tap into their own ability to create a mindful moment by bringing their attention back to their senses, one at a time exploring scents, tactile sensation, sounds and bringing one’s attention to the breath.
This activity seemed to have a profound impact on the participants who chose to partake in it. Some came in sceptical, not seeing how mindfulness could be achieved in a space so bustling with people and activities.
However, each person was able to spend those few moments in a state of mindfulness, and shared that they felt rested, more alert and awake post the activity!
Participants coming to us also spent time thinking about and expressing the idea of what Wellbeing meant to them as individuals.