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Poor mental health can be affected by several factors both internal and external and it is often the first thing we neglect in high pressure situations, such as when we are busy with work or family life. Taking time to look after our own wellbeing and put ourselves first can be challenging, however is incredibly rewarding.
This year for Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to actively encourage conversation around mental health and educate people on the factors and influences in their life that may subconsciously effect mental health.
We put together a timetable of activities ranging from 10 to 60 minutes across the working week. Activities included time to talk breakfast sessions, workshops on nutrition and practical mindset, movement right the way through to feel good massages and self-care.
On Monday 9 May 2022 we eased into the week with our weekly yoga session with Eleanor from Flux & Flow Coaching. The physical and mental effects of yoga have been shown to lower stress hormones with gentle stretching as well as meditation that encourages us to take time out from the daily stresses and focus on finding calm.
Exercise in any from can be a great stress reliever, whether it is yoga or a lunchtime movement session. To get our feel-good endorphins pumping, Karima and Chloe from Adi Salter put our teams through their paces with an ability adaptable workout. We left feeling energised and ready for a productive afternoon and it showed just how easy it can be to squeeze in endorphin rush throughout the working day. For those who didn’t feel like group exercise in the car park, we partnered with Nuffield Health Wimbledon to offer a weeks’ worth of membership to try out the facilities and classes.
Practical Mindset Coach Karima Adi provided us with a workshop where we explored our choice of words and their importance, discussing the small changes we can make and how we can build upon our own communication skills in all aspects of our lives. The sessions began and ended with three minutes to try the box breathing technique, which has been shown to help reduce stress and improve both mood and wellbeing.
To help us combat the 3pm slump, nutritionist Chloe Salter talked us through the small changes we can make to our diet to help boost energy levels and avoided late night snacking sessions. A nutrition session wouldn’t be complete without healthy snacks and fruit from local health-food café, Lu-ma.
We started Wednesday morning with our monthly Time to Talk breakfast, an informal session where our people can enjoy breakfast with colleagues and discuss topics including, but not solely, mental health. Quite often we use the sessions to talk about the wider goings-on the world which at times can negatively impact our own mental health.
Look Good Feel Better are a cancer support charity who provide wellbeing workshops in the workplace joined us for a morning to take some time out. Their amazing volunteers pampered us with facials, manicures, beard trims and make overs which left us feeling very relaxed. Our busy lives can sometimes mean that we forget to take a moment for ourselves for selfcare, having the opportunity to have a pamper and provided a moment of calm during the day.
A wellbeing week at Peldon Rose wouldn’t be complete without a massage from the lovely Heather from Heather Field Massage Therapy. Proven to help to relieve stress and reduce depression, the hormone oxytocin that is released when we connect physically can help to improve wellbeing and comfort levels. A state of calm is always ensuing in Sterling House after 10 minutes with Heather.
Knowing what a prominent issue mental health is in the construction industry, with figures suggesting that more than one worker a day will take their own life, we wanted to use the week to give back to our teams on site. With talks supported by Mates in Mind, we provided our teams with lunch to bring people together and open the conversation. Find out more about our partnership with Mates in Mind here.
There is a long way to go with openly talking about mental health, and we hope the steps we have taken this week have provided people with the opportunity to take time out and understand more about mental health issues and ways to overcome challenges.
For free confidential support you can contact these helplines.
Samaritans: 116 123
Construction industry helpline: 0300 123 3392
Mind infoline: 0300 123 3393 or text 86463