We have currently found ourselves in circumstances that are affecting us all, and for many (if not all!) of us negatively. With this week being Mental Health Awareness Week, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on not only our well-being but the mental health of those around us.
The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is ‘Kindness’. Fitting acts of kindness into each day is as easy as clapping for carers at 8pm on a Thursday, showing appreciation with painted rainbows in our windows or checking in on family and friends that you’ve not heard from in a while.
The country is on its 8th week of staying at home and keeping safe, and I know that I – as well as I’m sure some others – am finding it more difficult to know what to do with myself and find motivation for the day ahead. It has become more and more apparent that now, more than ever, is a time to be kind to yourself!
Allen Lane has worked hard during the COVID-19 outbreak to bring colleagues together through Zoom drop in sessions, quizzes, at home Olympics and even personalised sweets sent to our homes to let everyone know that, as a Company, we are there for each other. Although my general knowledge is not up to scratch, the activities have been great fun and always brought a smile to my face.
Some things we have found useful over the past few weeks, to give some headspace and help us feel more like ourselves has included:
Finding a routine that works for you
With everything having changed it is really important to still have a routine in your day, this can help keep you focused and also keep a normal working pattern to help sleep.
A way to achieve this can be writing a to-do list each morning. Setting out your tasks for the day can help keep us motivated. Seeing even a couple of things crossed off gives a sense of achievement to the day.
We have it from all angles informing us of the benefits of exercise, and I completely agree, but this doesn’t have to be half a marathon. Simply a walk or even stretching can help reduce stress and get your mind to slow down.
I’m sure we’ve all heard of Joe Wicks by now and there’s lots of other resources to help get us moving – including free Apps. At Allen Lane we even have a pilates or circuits class once a week for work colleagues to take part in. Its great fun if you can get something like this organised!
Read a good book or magazine! Reading can be a good way to ‘zone out’ and also can use up some of our free time where we may feel at a loose end.
There are so many options to choose from if you need cheering up or want to learn something new, and there’s now podcasts for kids too.
Whether this is cooking, baking, drawing or painting, doing something creative can be a great way to relax and take your mind off things.
Do something for YOU
From exercise or meditation for some. to having a long bubbly bath or a glass of wine for others, each of us have different things that work specifically for us. So find that something that makes you happy and make time to do it.
This is really important for us all to try and do. This doesn’t have to be a video chat every time, but a message, phone call or a thoughtful email to your friends, family or colleagues. Keep an eye on those who may seem quieter than usual, in addition to those who who may be living alone. A short text can go a long way!
And remember, it’s okay to have bad days – we all do – but if everyone comes together to look after one another we can (hopefully) make those bad days less and less frequent.
Side note: We are all working really hard to support ourselves, the wider business, our network, and friends and family – it is our business priority this year starting in January with a two day Mental Health First Aid training course from which we have benefited immensely.
Head to The Bridge First Aid website for information on this course or contact Jenny directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.