As #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek comes to an end this year, it seems like it’s fallen at just the right time as local governments begin to ease lockdown restrictions and usher us back into semi normal life.

What’s more, this year’s theme of #ConnectWithNature has really helped people think about how much time they are spending at home, encouraging them to get outdoors to relieve some pressure and refocus the mind.

Since the global pandemic began, we have all found our own ways of keeping ourselves mentally on track during a time when we have been largely isolated from friends, family and colleagues. For me, the most important things I have learned in this time to help me feel mentally strong are:

Getting out in nature

Last weekend I visited the island I grew up on. We went on beach walks, ate ice-cream in the rain and spent most of our time outside. And even though the weather wasn’t great, a change of scenery and plenty of fresh air meant I came home feeling lighter. There are so many options for us to connect with nature regardless of where we live, planting flowerpots (my son and I planted sunflower and tomato seeds this week), pottering in the garden (if you don’t have a garden, you can join a community one), finding local walks, gardens and parks you haven’t explored before, can all make a big difference to how you feel.

Listening to myself

In my last blog one of the things I encouraged was to check in with colleagues, family and friends to make sure they are ok, taking the time to listen and chat. The same applies to how we treat ourselves. I regularly check in with myself to see how I’m physically and mentally feeling. Do I always listen or act on it? Not every day, but that’s ok because it’s a process and I’m getting better at it. Listen to what your body is telling you and take the time. Whether that’s 10 minutes of mindfulness, reading a book, meeting a friend (safely) or having a bath, do whatever it takes to recharge your energy.

Taking time off work

We regularly encourage employees to take time off work. It’s been difficult this last year as we were limited to what we could actually do, but sometimes doing nothing can be just as recharging. It’s important to be able to take time away from work. That also includes taking the time away from your desk whilst working. With home working being the default for many it’s become so easy to skip lunch and sit at your desk all day without a break. This is compounded by the desire to want to log back into work in the evening, as has become the norm for many, meaning there can be little differentiation between work and home life. I recommend trying to find that balance where possible, schedule lunch breaks into your diary, call a friend over lunch, go for a walk or just sit in a different room away from your desk, but try to break when you can

Supporting our colleagues is important to us

We are always working on ways to support our employees. Last year we introduced our Employee Assistance Program and encouraged counselling sessions and coaching for those that needed it, we also ran a great 8-week series on mindfulness. Building on that, some areas of focus for us over the coming months are mental health first aid training, short lunchtime workshops and webinars on various mental health topics, virtual social events and continuing to build on our people development strategy.  Hopefully, as the world starts to return to normal later in the year, we can focus on introducing small group activities to alleviate the overwhelming feeling some people get from consistent homeworking.

Organised by Incremental Group many of our employees have also signed up to a virtual 3 month fitness challenge, raising money for team charities, which is not just a great way to look after your body, but also does wonders for the mind too.

I feel very proud to be part of the Redspire team; all our managers and employees take the time to support and look after one another and it’s important that we maintain that culture as we continue to grow.

As mentioned in my last post, it’s important to take the time for self care, but also to be kind to others and to yourself. #Kindnessmatters

Connect with Kristine as she shares more on Redspire’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap over the months ahead.

For more information on mental health awareness week and where you can get further support visit: