Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

This week was Mental Health Awareness Week 2021; this year we’ve looked at how we can use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing to improve our mental health. With the trials of the past year, mental health is now more than ever in the spotlight. All of us must start to put our mental health first in the ‘New Normal’.

We take part in the Mental Health Awareness Week to help build awareness, learn new practices and speak about mental health. As recruitment is stressful but incredibly rewarding! So, we need to have the right tools to maintain, nurture and promote strong mental health practices.

This year we wanted to speak with our team, about how they use aspects of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing (Making Connections, Keeping Active, Taking Notice, Learning and Giving) to improve their mental health. Along with doing some research on the benefit of this mental health tool.

Making Connections

It has always been important to forge partnerships. As it creates a sense of belonging and being understood. Building Connections means:

  1. Enhancing your relationships with those closest to you, such as friends and family.
  2. Expanding your relationships to include those in your community and the wider world.

These circles provide opportunities to share experiences, provide emotional support and even give support to others. So, it is important to invest time and nurture the connections that we make. As they will support and enhance all aspects of life.

The workplace has always been a great place to make new connections and friendships. We can often spend more time at work than at home! Here is what our team think about the importance of connections:

Keep Active

Exercise is known to be a powerful energiser, both in terms of mood and overall energy levels. So it comes as no surprise that many of us use exercise to improve or maintain our mental health.

The beauty of keeping active is that it can take so many forms: from hitting the gym to cleaning the house. Just moving around for 30 minutes a day can be enough to boost your mood.

We spoke with Kieran about how keeping active supports his mental health. After realising that it did make a difference to his mental health once it was restricted during the covid pandemic:

Some roles make it difficult to keep active whilst at work. Meaning many of us can spend hours behind a desk or seated. So, we need to proactively take moments to exercise, be that taking a walk during lunch or even just standing up regularly can help boost your move.

Taking Notice

There are periods in our life where we can spend too much time worrying about the past, thinking of the future and are so busy that we can forget about the present. Even during the pandemic, many of us found that we were occupying our minds with ‘doing nothing’- which can become a very negative mental health cycle.

Taking notice of the present moment, which includes paying attention to our surroundings, thoughts and feelings, can help to improve your mental wellbeing. As it helps you to understand yourself better and make positive changes with how you feel.

We asked Ethan about the things he has taken notice of recently:

Whilst at work, it is easy to go into your own little bubble. Then forget to take notice of your surroundings and how you are feeling. To combat this, you can set alarms as a reminder to take breaks and notice the world around you.

Keep Learning

Another element that we spoke about during Mental Health Awareness Week was the process of learning.

Learning can help maintain and improve our mental health, as we can enrich our lives with new skills, knowledge and experiences. At the core of this is challenging ourselves to do something new, improve upon something or overcoming a challenge. As a result, learning can help us to improve our self-esteem, build on new connections and even provide a sense of purpose.

We asked Jack Brooks about how he used learning to help him prepare and overcome a challenge. This is what he said:

The workplace has many opportunities to learn new skills and gain knowledge. However, it is important to have a dialogue with your employer to see how they can support you with your endeavour to learn new skills. Ask if they will support you through a course, or even have extra training sessions at work.

Giving

Not only does giving helps others it also has an instant, direct effect on our mental health.

It can be something small such as giving a gift to giving your time to volunteer. Giving in all forms can help you to feel more satisfied with life. Also, it helps to make new connections, learn new skills and even stay active!

Carla and Amrita had a discussion on how giving can help others around you, highlighting how it can be so important for your mental health:

One way that you can give in the workplace is to be active in any Corporate Social Responsibility strategy that the business has. If there isn’t one, speak with management and see if it is something that could be put in place.

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