Cupids Health

KEEP LEARNING with Amber – Art In Flexibility – Women's Health Loddon Mallee

One of a 5-part documentary series in conversation with women from across the Loddon Mallee Region, highlighting the importance of women’s mental health & wellbeing through the pandemic.

Each tells a unique and compelling story of how 7 women have been impacted by the pandemic & the changes in their lives that have been prompted as a result. The women all live vastly different lives, each residing in various parts o the region, & each with their own unique ways of coping through the uncertainties & changes they have experienced since the onset of Covid.

Despite their differences each shares one commonality. They all express gratitude for something in their lives. They all feel lucky, whether it be due to family or other connections, an abundance of open air where they live or their ability to contribute positively to their communities.

The theme of each film centres around one of the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing,’ a framework that sets out simple actions to improve personal wellbeing, backed by extensive international research. The principles of wellbeing include connect, give, keep learning, be active, & take notice.

The films are part of a larger project and campaign WHLM have delivered alongside project partners Bendigo Community Health Services and Northern District Community Health to highlight the gendered impacts of the pandemic, and the need to build a gender-responsive road to recovery for women’ health and wellbeing.

Across the Loddon Mallee women have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 35% of women experiencing moderate to severe levels of depression 0during the COVID-19 crisis, compared to 19% of men (ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey)

This project has been made possible with the generous support of the Victorian Government.

WHLM would like to thank everyone involved in the making of these films, particularly our interview participants for taking the time to share their stories and insights with us:
Genevieve Policarpio
Ivy Asis
Abi Umali
Ginny Thomas
Nokomi Achkar
Amber Jepsen
Aunty Lyn Warren

5 Ways to Wellbeing is a framework that sets out simple actions to improve personal wellbeing, backed by extensive international research. The principles of wellbeing include connect, give, keep learning, be active & take notice.

Connect – Having friends and family to connect with is important for maintaining mental health & wellbeing. While we are needing to physically distance from one another, it does not mean we need to be socially isolated. When you cannot catch up in person, try to reach out to people online or text them & see if they are up for a chat over the phone.

Keep Learning – Keeping your brain active and learning new things can help to boost your self-confidence, provide you with new coping skills and knowledge & even help to give more meaning & purpose in your life. You could try learning a new skill or exploring a new hobby, listen to a podcast about a topic of interest or read a book you have been meaning to get on to.

Take Notice – Slowing down can help you to learn self-awareness, reduce negative thoughts & maintain a level of calmness. Take the time to slow down, be aware of your surroundings & pay attention to your thoughts & feelings. Some pathways that may be helpful for you to connect with yourself and the present moment can be yoga, meditation, taking a stroll outdoors, or just going out & feeling the sun or the breeze on your skin.

Be Active – When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain and trigger a positive feeling. There are many ways you can stay active. Go for a walk or run, do yoga, jump on your skateboard or bicycle, get out in the garden. Do what feels right.

Give: Giving to others can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your personal wellbeing. You do not have to spend money to give. Generosity can be as simple as taking the time to check in with a friend or offering your seat to someone on public transport. If you take some time to practice empathy and identify ways you can improve the lives of those around you, everyone will reap the benefits. If you have spare time you can volunteer in your community. Try contacting a local organisation that you support & see if your skills can be utilised there. This might be a local support service, your local community radio station, an op shop.

WHLM is a not for profit regional service for women invested in advocating for positive change for women and girls & preventing disadvantage, discrimination, & violence against women across the region. We work with communities, service providers and Local Governments to promote & enhance the health and wellbeing of women across the Loddon Mallee Region. Underpinning our work with an intersectional feminist lens, we are committed to challenging gender stereotypes and working toward more equitable communities for all.


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