Is this the UK’s biggest untapped wellness resource?
Despite nationwide #WorkplaceWellbeing campaigns, it won’t come as any surprise that 30 per cent of UK workers ‘rarely’ take a lunch break, and 70 per cent continue to work while eating lunch at their desk.
The result? Over half (59 per cent) of Londoners experience some level of anxiety, and over a quarter (27 per cent) feel guilty about taking time out for themselves.
And while we all value our downtime, we don’t make the most of it like we should, because we’re all so overwhelmed by life’s pressures.
CALM & COLLECTED
The good news is there is a huge untapped wellness resource in the UK the majority of us aren’t utilising: museums and galleries.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, the Calm & Collected report suggests otherwise. While 63 per cent of people have visited a museum or gallery specifically to destress, only six per cent visit regularly, confirming that although we know museums and galleries improve our life satisfaction, give us purpose and increase our happiness, we don’t do a very good job fitting them into our lives.
Paul Dolan, author of Happiness by Design, says, “perhaps it is a sign of the pace of the modern world, but any activity that helps us take a break from our day-to-day lives is a good thing.”
Paul is quick to explain, however, social media doesn’t fall into that category. In fact, he actively encourages you to take up analog, rather than digital, activities given these help you to “step away from the comparison process and the need for affirmation.”
And, while it is up to us to figure out which activities give us the right balance between pleasure and purpose, Paul suggests we all “need to feel like at least some of what we do has a point” – even if that point is you learn something new, or are able to think about something differently.
LONDON vs THE REST
Unfortunately, Paul also confirmed our deepest fears about living in London – that we have “lower levels of happiness” than outside the capital. However, he does offer some semblance of reassurance. “Just as there are more opportunities for misery in London, there are more opportunities for happiness, too. We just need to pay attention to the latter.”
He’s right, of course. According to Art Fund, 55 per cent of us live within walking distance of at least one museum, so it’s simply a case of prioritising our wellbeing and getting smart when it comes to managing our diaries.
With the Art Pass, Art Fund is championing wellbeing through an inspiring call to action for people to choose themselves by taking back time to do what really matters to them, and to consider the benefit of museums and galleries as a great option. From Cardiff Castle and Kensington Palace to the V&A and Tate Modern, the National Art Pass provides free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK, as well as 50 per cent off entry to major exhibitions.
Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at www.artfund.org