This week is Mental Health Awareness Week which aims to raise awareness of mental health. It runs every year and is currently in its 21st year. We feel that it is vital to highlight discussions on mental health because as many as 1 in 4 people in England will experience mental health problems of some kind during their lives.
At Higginson, we care about our staff and know the importance of looking after your mental health, which is why we wanted to share our tips that positively affect our mental health.
John Higginson, Partner
Getting up early to go for a run sets you up for the day. Spend time with nature and animals. We have a tortoise. Watching a tortoise put all her energy into devouring a dandelion is very relaxing.
Stephen Dillon, Account Manager
In the last year, there have been too many days spent going from the laptop screen to the phone screen to the TV screen. l’ve found that leaving all tech at home to go for an evening run has really helped clear my head and offered a nice mental reset at the end of the day.
Charlotte Radcliffe, Senior Account Executive
My best practice is going for a long walk while listening to a podcast or audiobook. Getting out of the house for some fresh air is great for your headspace, and you can borrow audiobooks for free through your local library on the BorrowBox app – so it doesn’t have to cost anything!
Chris Boyle, Account Executive
Mine is a simple one, for me, it was less screen time and more time in nature. Living next to Greenwich Park during the first two lockdowns did wonders for my mental health as I was trying to write my dissertation. I would always make sure whatever the weather to get away from the screen and walk around the park, surrounded by beautiful trees and a great view of London.
Esme Parkins, Account Manager
I’ve found yoga a huge help. Over the last year, sometimes I haven’t felt like doing a challenging workout, but spending so much time indoors, I’ve been really aware of the importance of listening to and moving my body. I’d never really considered yoga before, but it’s been great to become really aware of my mind and body with something that takes practice and can be slotted in at any time of day really without needing to go to a gym
Lauren Aston, Executive Assistant
I personally try to do some form of exercise every day, whether it’s morning Pilates or a HIIT workout. Even when I’m having a slow day, I always try to motivate myself into doing some form of exercise, as I always feel better afterwards.
Since working from home I go for a walk either before work, on my lunch break or in the evening. I think it’s extremely beneficial to leave your house and get some fresh air.
Reading this back I sound like such a health freak; I’m honestly not! But I think the pandemic changed my mindset on becoming healthier, and I’m all for a healthy balance.
Alex Pegler, Senior Account Manager
Trying to get my 5k time below 22 minutes. Not quite managed it.
Isla Tweed, Account Executive
Just being outside has been key for me over the past year. Whether it’s running, walking or getting on my bike, stepping out of the confines of the four walls you’re surrounded by 24/7 has never felt so refreshing. A great podcast or playlist is also a necessary companion.
Polly De Burgh Marsh, Account Executive
I knitted a scarf during lockdown! It looks nothing like a scarf, but I found it a really soothing activity which I would recommend to anyone.
Jacob Metcalf, Senior Account Executive
Despite being active as a teenager, I hadn’t exercised or trained for years. I had hit my thirties and the prospect of sporting glory had seemingly passed me by as I became accustomed to the routine of 9-5 work, home to eat tea and watch television. The result – I was slow, heavy, lethargic, and out of shape.
Entering lockdown I saw an opportunity to break this routine. I began using what would have been my commute time to start running – basically to see what happened. I enjoyed it, and soon started keeping an eye on my times. With a view to improving them I decided to make it a project to improve my overall fitness.
The key to this was, rather than the end goal being how much weight I could lose, which I had tried before and failed at, I changed the outcome I wanted. The parameters of success were based on how much faster I could get, how much stronger, how much more agile. Working towards these continuous goals meant I wouldn’t reach an end point and stop, it is about continuing to improve with every session.
As a result it’s completely changed my lifestyle. I now make my fitness a priority – instead of picking up the PlayStation controller after work, I go for a run first, and the previous goal of weight loss has coincided with the project. Mentally it’s been a fantastic journey, and one my body appreciates also.
So my tip for mental wellbeing would be, change the parameters of success for whatever you’re doing. You may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.