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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental health matters, and it matters that we talk about it! It’s important at every stage of our lives and can have a huge bearing on our physical health too, so it’s vital that we all take steps to look after our mental wellbeing. This Mental Health Awareness Weekwe’re sharing some of the things that we do to support to prioritise mental health amongst our staff teamsas well as some top tips for looking after yourself

We do our best to connect with staff regularly about how they are feeling and to offer them support. This includes:

  • Our ‘Time to Talk’ zoom calls – These are regular sessions where we all get together to share our thoughts and feelings. It’s a judgement free zone where colleagues can support each other.
  • Our Health and Wellbeing bulletin – A monthly email for staff that shares useful mental health resources, provides tips on things like mindfulness and stress relief, and encourages staff to look after their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Our Mental Health Champion scheme – We’re currently in the process of allocating champions in each team who will be there to offer a listening ear to others and positively support their mental health. 

Looking after your mental health isn’t something we should just do when we’re struggling to cope. There are lots of simple things you can do to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing every single day...here are a few of our top tips!

1) Connect with nature – Use your lunch break to get outside and take some quiet time to reflect in natural surroundings. Listen to the birds singing, look out for bees and butterflies, and watch the clouds as they move with the wind. Connecting with nature for a few minutes every day can help you to find a sense of calm and joy. 

2) Ditch the phone – To help combat mindless scrolling in your spare time, leave your phone in another room, put it on airplane mode, or go out for a walk without it You can also set aside time to unfollow any accounts which make you feel negative. The Happy Broadcast provides good news to focus on instead of all-consuming media that could be detrimental to your mindset and wellbeing. 

3) Do some exercise – Boost your endorphins by moving your body! If you need some motivation, why not take part in 5k in May challenge and get your friends involved in raising money for Challengers while you run? Or if you prefer something a bit less strenuous you could try some stretching or yoga.

4) Connect with others – Call a family member to ask them how they are, or send a text to a friend to check in with how they are feeling and let them know you’re thinking of them. Reaching out to a loved one is as beneficial for your mental health as it is for theirs. 

5) Put pen to paper – Journaling is a great way to vent all your feeling and stresses, and get them out of your head. Try writing down some positive words of encouragement and reading them every morning when you wake up. You could also add them to the ‘notes’ app in your phone so you can check them during the day if you feel anxious or overwhelmed. 

6) Have a spring clean – A clean and clear space can make all the difference to your mindset and can be very therapeutic, especially if you’re working from home and you’ve turned your living room into a makeshift office! If you have any unwanted books, CDs, DVDs and games, you can give them to charity or sell them online via ziffit. 

7) Ask for help – If things are getting too much and you’re struggling to cope, speak to someone. Reach out to someone you trust whether it be a friend or family member, a work colleague, or professional therapist. 

Joanna McCaffery our Trust Fundraising Officer shared one of the many amazing quotes she has collected to think of in times of worry: 

“Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keep you very busy doing nothing.”