Upcoming event: GGTP#65 – Wikipedia Edit Tea Party UPDATE

We have now merged our event with the Voting for Change Edit-a-thon event on November 20th.wiki.png

Sunday 20th November 2016, Working Class Movement Library 10:00am – 4:00pm, free tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/voting-for-change-edit-a-thon-tickets-25968895666

Practically everyone uses the free encyclopaedia to find out about the world – but have you ever tried adding to it? Women are sorely under-represented in editing and contributing to Wikipedia articles, and we aim to shift the balance.

We’re teaming up with PHM and WCML to acquire material related to the fight for the vote, and then share this knowledge on Wikipedia. Helpers from Wikimedia UK and Manchester Girl Geeks will be on hand to help you learn and develop editing skills. There will be support on hand for beginners and for those who already have some editing experience.

Feel free to bring along your favourite sources and add to the body of knowledge together!

The library is opposite Salford uni, a short distance away from Salford Crescent train station. There are many bus links, including the number 8 from Shudehill. The day runs from 10am-4pm.

What to bring:

  • A laptop / computer, on which to edit; if you don’t have one you can bring, please get in touch beforehand and we can sort something out.
  • We’re not able to supply lunch this time, but there are a few places to buy food nearby – if you bring a packed lunch there’ll be somewhere to eat it.

To book your place, visit the Eventbrite page.

Geek Mental Help Tea Party: Mood Nudging

As part of Geek Mental Help Week and in more general support of World Mental Health Day, Manchester Girl Geeks put together a  Geek Mental Help Tea Party packed with talks and workshops to help folks better understand and manage our well-being.

I’m Manchester Girl Geeks regular @ZoeEBreen and I ran the Mood Nudges workshop.

[Update: here’s the ‘science bit’ on my blog CheerUpLove.com]

What are Mood Nudges?

bookcoverIn April 2016 Jon Cousins (creator of famed mood-logging tool MoodScope – more about that at the end) published Nudge Your Way to Happiness: The 30 Day Workbook for a Happier You.

A daily mood questionnaire and scoring system to prompt readers to come up with ideas for lifestyle tweaks which might benefit their well-being. 

The 30 day programme focuses on a different area of wellbeing each day. These range from the basics like sleep and nutrition to themes such as getting outdoors, to learning something new and celebrating your successes.

There is also space to note your daily scores to see how your mood fluctuates over the duration of the 30 days as you progress through the workbook.

So each day, one questionnaire, one score. Depending on your score you are directed to complete one of three written exercises around that day’s theme.

Mood Nudges: Warm up

I was keen to see what would happen if I tested the Mood Nudges format out on our Geek Mental Help Week guests.

To get into the swing of things participants were asked to fill out one of the standard daily mood questionnaires. Luckily geeks really love filling out forms!

Depending on their score, each participant were given activity A, B, or C to fill out. The theme I chose was called ‘Exercise Helps’ (they didn’t know this before doing the questionnaire).

I then asked people who did each activity to feed back. In a very short amount of time we had some great suggestions for exercise-related mood nudges from climbing up the stairs, to doing a yoga class and walking more on a lunch break.

Mood Nudges: Experiment

I wanted to see what would happen if we introduced our own theme and applied the Mood Nudges format to it. Another recent discussion for Geek Mental Help Week had identified work stress as a common theme, so I put that out there to get things started.

We came up with three related areas: work stress, productivity anxiety and worries that your work isn’t good enough. I split the room into three groups to generate relevant mood nudges.

In just a few minutes, participants came up with some really amazing nudges for their designated sub-theme. I was blown away with both the quality and quantity of suggestions, so much so that I will share them here:

Work stress

  • Prioritise if too many things to do
  • Take a break – at work, take a lunch break & walk
  • Separating working and relaxing spaces / times
  • Breathing exercises
  • Colouring, doodling to relax

Productivity

  • Make a list of things to do
  • Highlight what you’ve done
  • List achievements at the end of the day
  • Factor in breaks other self-care
  • Put breaks in Trello board
  • Big items – break into tiny tasks
  • Zen habits – one thing at a time – “half your to-do list”
  • Write something nice on a piece of paper and put in a box – opened at the end of the year!

Not good enough?

  • Make a record of your achievements
  • Collect twitter praise – like and remember your achievements – get in perspective
  • Note at least one thing you’ve done well in your career
  • Create a validation corner – visit it
  • Writing weekly what you’ve done right – self-care, e.g. sleep, diet, exercise
  • Focus on the positive

Yay! It worked

This quick workshop, which was around 45 minutes in length, demonstrates how effectively the Mood Nudges technique can be applied to a well-being related problem.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part for their contributions and I know that Jon is very keen to hear the results of my experiment too.

He kindly sent up six copies of the Mood Nudges book all the way from the USA so that I could offer them to anyone who was interested. High demand meant we had to put names in a hat to share the books out fairly. If you missed out, you can get your copy here.

Jon Cousins & Moodscope

Jon is well-known for establishing one of the earliest web-based mood logging websites Moodscope.com, launched in 2010. Since then thousands of people have used the simple system, which involves scoring emotions daily using virtual playing cards to track how their feeling over weeks, months or even years.

Jon devised the system after he’d struggled to find treatments to help his own mood swings. He found that his own awareness of his moods helped him to manage his feelings more effectively, and in 2010 launched Moodscope.com – you can out more about the science that supports it here.

Moodscope and Mood Nudges

After spending time sharing mood-lifting messages on Moodscope, Jon was delighted to hear from people who said these little snippets of advice really helped them. In May 2014 he started posting these daily gems Moodnudges.com. You can also subscribe by email to get a new mood nudge from Jon in your inbox each day.

Resources

Mood Nudges website and daily blog: http://moodnudges.com/

Mood Nudges latest research findings: On CheerUpLove.com

Moodscope (free and paid options): https://www.moodscope.com/

Geek Mental Help website

Geek Mental Help on Twitter
Thanks to Mark Brown aka @markoneinfour and my brother Ellis for helping me develop the workshop format.

[I’m @ZoeEBreen and my blog is:  CheerUpLove.com]

 

Upcoming event: GGTP#64 – Geek Mental Help Tea Party

Sunday 9th October 2016, Autotrader, 10:30am-4pm, tickets £4.50 including lunch

Geek Mental Help WeekGeek Mental Help Week is a week-long series of articles, blog posts, conversations, podcasts and events across the web about mental health issues, how to help people who suffer, and those who care for sufferers.

As part of Geek Mental Help Week, we’re holding an all day event on 9th October at Autotrader, on First Street, near Home.

We’ll be running talks and interactive workshops, as well as having spots for lightning talks and smaller discussions. As with all our events there will be tea/coffee and cake, and we will also be providing lunch.

We have some fantastic speakers, covering a number of subjects including suicide, sleep management, and apps to help manage your mental health.

Tickets are £4.50 including lunch, and can be found at mancggtp64.eventbrite.co.uk.

We’re on the ground floor at Madlab, which is wheelchair accessible. Please get in touch if you have any other access needs.

GGTP #63: Coding Workshop

Sunday 14th August 2016, 2pm-4pm, SSR, Downing Street

Manchester Girl Geeks will present a 2 hour introduction to coding. With the help of www.codecademy.com, we will walk and talk you through the first steps to writing your own code in a programming language called Python. This short intro class is aimed at absolute beginners, who have little or no knowledge of programming, as well as people with experience of programming who would like to refresh their coding skills – for example, if you already program in another language but would like to learn a new one!

What to bring

You will need to bring your own laptop or tablet. The Codecademy website should work in most browsers, but we recommend that you create an account beforehand and try a couple of lessons to make sure that everything works OK for you.

There will be cake and biscuits available, but please feel free to bring your own creations.

Venue information

The venue is wheelchair accessible. if you have any other access needs, please get in touch.

It is located about half a mile from Piccadilly Train station – if you need to get a bus, the 192 runs regularly from Piccadilly Bus station.

Tickets are £3 for adults, free for under 16s

 

Event review: Tea Party #62 : Blogging Workshop

Following on from our successful event back in January, Tea Party #58: Meet the Bloggers, our May event picked up the theme of blogging again, with presentations from bloggers, followed by some practical hands-on sessions to try out some blogging platforms and set up a beginner blog on Medium, get some useful hints & tips on using platforms such as Blogger, and on sourcing copyright-cleared images to use, and even have a go at adding a post to the Girl Geeks site (yes, this very post!)

The presentations covered various blogging platforms, and our presenters shared the things they’d learned from doing their blogs, from images to metrics to managing comments. First up was Olivia from Liv’s Recovery Kitchen who told us all about the site, which she set up using Weebly, a good platform if you want a visual site and the option to have different layouts. The site used different sections and index pages, and also included recipes which present more of a challenge to format. Olivia also spoke about the Blog On conference, where bloggers come together to network, which she found very valuable.

Next up was Katie @stecks, showing us how we add content to the Manchester Girl Geeks site, hosted on WordPress. Katie explained how we use it to advertise our events, using “sticky” posts (which always appear first, good to draw attention to upcoming events!). Natalie @natcliberty followed with a look at her Blogger blog, Engineer with Unique Style, including how she could keep track of stats, and also some useful tips on using images and photos.

Our final speaker Karen @kpudner took us through the blogging platform Medium, a straightforward platform that would make a good entry level blog as it is very simple to add content and images, and also has a “feed” feature to help you follow other blogs on there – similar to Twitter (although with much longer posts, of course!).

After a quick break, we began our interactive sessions, with attendees free to choose a group to join in – either getting practical advice on sourcing free-to-use images, setting up and having a go at blogging using Medium, working on a tutorial on Blogger, sharing tips and having some time to work on their own blogs, and also the chance to contribute to this very post on the “help us write an event review” table, where this post began!

Attendees that visited the table had the following observations on what they’d seen on the other tables…

Writing reviews proved fruitful for one of the bloggers, with lots of freebies sent to her to review for her blog.

There were many different platforms to appeal to different bloggers and different topics – in fact, something for everyone!

As is tradition at Girl Geek Tea Parties, there was a selection of tasty home-baked cakes – Gem @gem_hill‘s ginger cake and Katie’s apple cake were particularly popular – both had completely “disappeared” by the end of the event!

Review collated by Emily @emilylovedhim, with lots of input from the attendees who visited this table. Thank you! I didn’t manage to make a note of names, so if you were one of them, please do put your name in the comments so I can credit you properly.