Nice Things for Museum People: Health and Wellbeing: How to be more sloth

Welcome to the third of our Monday morning blog posts for our museum colleagues. As with the others of these posts, we hope they will help you feel that you’re staying connected with us and the North West museums sector in some way. Read them if they’re helpful to you, ignore them if they’re not.

Last week we shared a playlist we have created to help those that are still working within their museums, but this week we want to focus on health and wellbeing and being more sloth…

The health and wellbeing of museum visitors and the people that work within them are hugely important to us, and whilst we are currently delivering an Organisational Health and Wellbeing Programme, not every organisation is able to participate which is why we have pulled together a list of activities you can do online and in the comfort of your own home. Please note though, that this is only a small list and there are a huge amount of activities only clicks away!

First up is some great practical advice from Mind, which gives you advice if you’re feeling anxious or isolated. It covers everything from working remotely best practice to taking care of your home environments.

To encourage you to keep working out, the NHS have created some simple 10-minute workout videos that can be followed from the comfort of your own home.

When it comes to good health and wellbeing, good nutrition is key to keeping well, especially in the current situation and Hero Wellbeing have a blog that gives advice, suggests recipes and recommends foods to try.

Next up, Manchester Art Gallery offers access to their online mindfulness audio guides and activities. Led by Louise Thompson, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Manchester Art Gallery, the activities help you to relax whilst taking in and contemplating some of the gallery’s most iconic pieces. Louise also recommends this guide to supporting your mental health during COVID-19 outbreak from the Mental Health Foundation.

Manchester Museum also have their wonderful Cultural First Aid Kit which was developed for use in hospitals but which can be used anywhere.

What does the MDNW team do though?

Well Alex is a keen cinephile and watches as many films as possible, whilst making sure to go to his local nature reserve to see the ducks and say hi to the horses.

Lynsey is watching Muppet Christmas Carol and doesn’t care that it’s unseasonal. She’s also made a start on all those books in the bookcase she’s been meaning to read.

Kaye loves to watch re-runs of Absolutely Fabulous and anything with Victoria Wood in it. She also loves to read in bed and listen to audio books whilst painting (including painting the house or with her kids!)

Abdullah takes a daily walk and also uses this time to learn something new. He also speaks to friends and family online regularly and enjoys gardening.

Lastly (and we know you’re waiting for this bit), we all need to learn to be more sloth. Inspired by Sarah Ford’s book “Be A Sloth, & when in doubt, just chill out” we’ve been trying to be more sloth-like this last year, and now more than ever sloth’s wise words in the book are resonating with us.

Be a Sloth book cover

Be a Sloth book cover

Here’s just a few from him:


Sloth was being kind to himself

Sloth thought that sometimes you just had to go through it

Sloth had tuned out the chatter

Sloth silenced his inner critic

Sloth thought it was a mistake to underestimate the power of slow

Every now and again, Sloth liked to turn his life upside down (I think we can all say this one has been achieved recently!)

Sloth liked to try new things

Sloth was eating mindfully

Sloth thought laughter was the best medicine

Sloth got great pleasure from small things


And with that we’ll finish this week’s post and make sure we remember the wise words above.



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