The Contra Vision team share tips for maintaining good mental health
It is Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, and the theme is Nature. Through the many hardships of the past year, millions of people turned to nature for reprieve. Research done by the Mental Health Foundation found that during the pandemic, “going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health”.
Mental health is a very important issue for us which is why we chose Stockport Mind as our charity of the year for 2021. We know it has been an incredibly difficult year for many people and so the team at Contra Vision would like to share the ways that we take care of our mental health, which is just as important as taking care of your physical health.
1. Exercising your mind and body
Research has shown that doing regular physical activity boosts your self-esteem, can reduce anxiety and stress. Our Accounts Admin, Susan Morrey shared that exercise, in particular dance exercise, has helped her immensely during this time. While Emily Huynh, our Southeastern Business Development Executive, has said that “yoga plus a consistent sleep schedule” has helped her maintain good mental health.
2. Walk your way to improved mental health
Going for a walk, no matter the pace or length, can do wonders for mental wellbeing. Our Head of Supply Chain, Sarah Byrne, said that “I have found walking has helped my mental health, not only is the exercise beneficial but having Seamus means that when I am working from home, I have to leave the house on my lunch break and walk him, so I get fresh air and a change of scenery, time away from my screen and when my home has become my office too it is good to get outside”.
Our Head of Marketing, Richard Poole, has been taking the opportunity working from home has given to walk around his local area. He said, “After the first 9 months of being in and out of lockdown, #lockdown3 got me into walking daily. I have averaged a 5 mile walk every day since the start of the year and I never miss a day. I feel huge benefits from being outside, doing some exercise always aiming for 15min/mile, listening to podcasts, and just forgetting about everything else that is going on”.
Mark Godden, a consultant for Contra Vision, is fortunate to have a beautiful walking route right on his doorstep, “I’ve increased the amount of time available to me so that I can get outdoors by upgrading much of my kit, so the weather doesn’t matter. I am very lucky living in a marina, so I have a one-mile lap around the boats with pave underfoot, a nature reserve at the far end of the dock and coast path too. I am near the Strawberry Line and Bristol to Bath cycle paths as well”.
3. Take time to switch off and relax
Sometimes life can become very busy and overwhelming, so it is important to take time every day to do the things that you enjoy and that help you to relax. Viktorija Ustinova, Contra Vision’s Global Logistics Leader, shared with me how she likes to relax, “I actually have couple of things which help me: Relaxing music with ocean waves and tropical island view, meditation, less time spent on social media, focusing on myself and beloved ones, walking”.
4. Use creativity and connection to boost your wellbeing
Again, life can become busy, so setting time aside to do something just for the joy of it is a great way to boost your mood. Take Helen Beresford-Jay, Marketing Manager & Design at Contra Vision, as an example, she said, “Picking up a new hobby has helped me to improve my mental health, I’ve learned to illustrate on an iPad during lockdown.”
Meanwhile, Sarah Byrne, is raring to get back to one of her favorite hobbies, “In the past few years singing has been a major part of improving my mental health, being in a choir has a massive social side but also when you sing you concentrate on your breathing, the lyrics and emotion of the song and you do not have time to think about what is worrying you. I think it is the thing I have missed most during the pandemic.”
5. Organize tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed
Contra Vision Consultant, Mark Godden, gave me some solid wisdom to avoid the stress that can come with having looming tasks. He said, “If I am feeling a bit sorry for myself, I’ll do a very quick review of my outstanding tasks and make sure all I need to do is out of my head and committed to a system I trust to recall it for me. As said by author, David Allen, heads are for having ideas, not trying to hold on to them or organise them. I would urge anyone who feels overwhelmed to look into GTD as it helps create the headspace needed to enjoy the good things around us and deal with the not-so-good.”