This week is Mental Health Awareness Week – the UK’s national campaign to raise understanding of mental health problems. It’s a chance to inspire action to elevate the message about good mental health for all, both at work and at home.
The NHS have created 5 proven steps to mental wellbeing – a simple, common-sense framework that we can consider and aim to build into our daily lives and mindsets. There are so many stresses and strains in our ‘always on’ culture that it’s all too easy to forget or not to make time to look after ourselves.
Give them a try and see for yourself if you think they make a difference to your mood, outlook and overall wellbeing:
1.Connect – communicate and empathise with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing.
2.Be active – you don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or join a workplace football team. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing.
3.Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that digital marketing course, join a choir, or figure out how to fix your bike? Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing.
4.Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteer work can improve mood and grow social networks. Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing.
5.Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including thoughts & feelings, your body and the world around you. "Mindfulness" and can positively change how you approach challenges. Learn more in Mindfulness for mental wellbeing.
You could also listen to some audio guides to boost your mood.
At Business West this week we held our summer staff meeting where around 200 of us gather. Two key topics on the agenda were mental health and a TED-style talk on positivity. We have also set up a hub for mental health in the workplace where you can read many inspiring blogs from our members and other local businesses on this key topic.
Plus, one of our Chamber members, Bristol Energy is using these 5 aspects to start a conversation in their workplace. Something as simple as a notice board placed in a common area to share experience or examples, can be a powerful tool to talk about positive ways that staff can create wellbeing in their daily lives.
I feel it’s been an amazing week so far, and I for one have learnt so much. The conversations on social media have enlightened me and reinforced the belief that mental health issues are being talked about, understanding is on the rise and people are opening up and expressing their feelings with truth and honesty. Let’s keep the conversation going… what have you been up to?