This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week was kindness. We at HappyMaven believe that kindness is a prerequisite for any relationship, starting with the one you have with yourself.
We understand that now more than ever, stress and anxiety are commonplace within the home and workplace - right now these two worlds may have collided over the kitchen table - therefore discovering methods of proactively remaining balanced, maintaining an equilibrium and essentially being kinder to ourselves has never been more important.
We got in touch with our community of remarkable women to discover how they’ve been taking care of their wellbeing and share their tips for preserving their equilibrium during these times.
🟠 Harriet Taylor, Lead Business Development Manager, JCDecaux
“Being 35 weeks pregnant and currently on furlough, I have found that it has been easy for me to slip into a negative mindset and to panic and worry about the future. With this in mind, each morning I have consciously been focusing on the positives such as the health and love of my family and dog.
Instead of thinking about the lack of control I have in the current circumstances, I have been concentrating on a list of plans which I can control.
These plans include learning spanish, painting pictures for my nursery and learning to nap (in time for the new arrival!). This all reminds me that I have plenty to remain positive about. My tip is to remember what we do have, rather than focusing on what we don’t.”
“I recommend taking each day as it comes rather than looking at the bigger picture of the unknown.
The future is, and always will be out of our control and can feel daunting, but taking things day-by-day is within our control and focusing on what we can do and change in the here and now keeps me feeling grounded and in control.”
“I am currently furloughed but maintaining a routine is key for maintaining my mental and physical equilibrium. I have continued to set a morning alarm to get up to do yoga each day which is helping to keep me balanced and energised. I manage my time by keeping a list of household chores and try to tackle at least one each day, this helps to keep me active and productive.
However, I try to remind myself to not be too harsh on myself if I want to have a day of no jobs, and just chill out with a sweet treat and a book instead.
Technology has been great for staying connected with friends and family, however I’m trying to be careful with how much time I spend on social media, as it’s easy to lose hours of a day absorbed in it and becoming stressed by online news stories. I have been actively avoiding news channels recently and only checking the BBC news app if I want an update.”
"At first I was really struggling with balance during lockdown,partly because I felt as if I had nothing to look forward to, such as an upcoming holiday or a night out with friends.
However, alongside working on creative projects and maintaining my exercise routine,
I have found that providing structure to my time by planning virtual social activities such as pub quizzes, zoom parties, and social distancing dinners has really been key to helping with my wellbeing.”
“During the initial phase of lockdown, I struggled with balance, panicking about my productivity and creativity, I tried to do too much. Youtube workouts, baking, Facetime appointments with people I barely spoke to in day-to-day life, I even bought a keyboard to play the piano (which has been touched fewer times than I’d like to admit!).
However, now I recognise that everything in moderation is the key to maintaining equilibrium, and being kind to myself if I don’t feel like joining that fifth zoom call of the day,
or taking time to just enjoy some peace and quiet rather than beating myself up over not feeling productive. My one lockdown tip for equilibrium is maintaining your circadian rhythms. Keeping the morning alarm set at your usual time, even if you simply get out of bed to watch TV or read a magazine. Your body clock regulates your mood and energy and has a profound effect on your wellbeing.”
🟠 Hannah Blyth, History Teacher, Secondary School
1. Create distinct workspaces: This creates consistency for working patterns but also ensures you’re not getting under each other’s skin and look forward to seeing each other at the end of the day.
2. Make the most of exercise: Use this time as an opportunity to discover new routines to keep the mind and body active and enjoy the outdoors with less people, traffic and pollution.
3.Create community: People who have more meaningful social connections are less likely to experience poor mental health, so now is the ideal time to reconnect with loved ones or grow your own community by speaking with neighbours and supporting local businesses.
4. Focus on the positives: Use this time to stop, slow down and appreciate what is around us, especially nature, family and friends, and even your own passions and hobbies that you might have neglected along the way.
5. Don’t be hard on yourself: Routine might slip, you might have a lie in but so what? It is ok to have a few ‘off days’ or not to be as productive, try not to feel guilty about it and instead enjoy it and then try and get back into a routine or work longer on those days when you are feeling more motivated.
“We can be so hard on ourselves for things we haven't completed, like that all-important to do list. Try instead to write your week long to do list on one list.
Then at the end of each day write down all of those things that you accomplished that day in your diary.
Take a moment to bask in what you've achieved rather than riddle yourself with what you have left to do. At the end of the week, your diary is now a record of all you completed!”
Discovering techniques to maintain balance in our lives is part and parcel of personal development, however during these current times of enforced change and increased anxiety, managing our balance and equilibrium has become challenging in many circumstances.
We hope that the stories shared by our friends and colleagues provide reassurance that whatever your job or situation, we’re all experiencing changes and navigating our balance in a way that’s never been experienced before.
At HappyMaven, we believe that fostering positive behavioural change is necessary to adapt to changes - both in the workplace and at home - however this cannot be achieved alone. Get in touch with HappyMaven today for a consultation on how to balance change within the workplace. We provide bespoke consultative services designed for your unique team and working culture.