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22 May, 2020 • 5 min read
We all have mental health.
I’d like to make clear at the start that the purpose of this blog post is not to achieve a number of page views, a desired session duration, or a certain number of leads. The purpose is for it to help people, to help someone have a positive impact on their mental health.
Working in a marketing team, quite often you get bogged down in metrics, KPIs, and ensuring that everything you do leads to a specific outcome that can be measured and that has a positive financial impact on the business you work for. Sometimes, however, you need to take a step back and rather than trying to churn out endless pieces of content that may generate more leads or MQLs that get you close to a quarterly target, you need to do something you love; do something because it has the potential to have a genuine positive impact on someone. Working in a marketing team you are in a privileged position where you have a platform to write something that people may actually read and engage with. I think every so often we need to use that platform for good.
And now, more than ever, our mental health is being tested, and we need more and more good in our lives.
Mental health at the workplace is a tricky one. We all talk about physical health. If someone broke their arm, we’d ask if they were ok and how it happened. If someone seemed down or subdued and clearly struggling with their mental health, it’s not a conversation we have in general, especially in the workplace. It becomes an elephant in the room. You might get questions like ‘how are you’ and responses like ‘I’m fine, thank you’. Now, more than ever, we need to start doing what we can to talk about it. With that in mind, we wanted to create a video with some tips from the Seenit community, working alongside a company called Sanctus whose mission is to create a world where mental health is viewed the same as physical health.
This isn’t a blog that’s looking to sell a product, it’s a blog that’s trying to get more people to talk openly about mental health. A blog that that when we ask someone how they are, we genuinely listen and care about the response. And that when someone asks us how we are, we answer as honestly as we feel comfortable to do so.
So with that, here are the top tips from our community, Sanctus, and me to help you keep on top of your mental health.
It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to be happy. It’s ok to be sad. Pineapple on pizza is probably even ok. This something I have to try and remember all the time. Sometimes your mental health won’t be where you want it to be, and however you are feeling, don’t be hard on yourself.
Whether it’s a professional, family, friends, or housemates, make sure you have someone you can talk to. Whether it’s picking up the phone, jumping on a FaceTime or Zoom, try and reach out to friends and family daily.
If a news story doesn’t directly concern you or your safety, then you don’t actually need to know it. You could try not reading, listening, or watching the news after a certain time in the day.
If you are going to spend some time on social media, then try to only look at things that make you feel good by following the accounts that post those things.
Whatever it may be, keeping up a sense of normality and routine during these weird times can really help whether the storm. This could be making sure that you get up when you usually would, having a shower, making your bed, and getting dressed for the day. I’ve started to do this recently and it’s been a real game changer. As part of your routine, you could get a regular call in with someone that doesn’t live with you to shoot the breeze and have that day-to-day chit chat you might be missing.
Exercising daily as part of a routine can have a huge impact on your mental health. You don’t have to run a marathon or do a hardcore HIIT workout to feel the benefits. Just a 10 minute walk outside, if you are able to, can massively improve how you are feeling. It’s important to remember that everyone is different, and not all of us can exercise or go outside. You shouldn’t feel pressured to exercise and force yourself to just because your next door neighbour does. Do what you like doing, and do it as an act of self love.
Where you can, try to make the most of this time that we didn’t have before. We are often so time poor, spending what seems like most of our lives rushing from place to place, standing on tubes, queuing for food, it’s hard to imagine a life without that. You could use this time to take up a new hobby or skill, try a new recipe, paint, or maybe just give yourself some extra snooze time in bed.
A tweet from @matthaig1 summed it up well. ‘Yes lockdown poses it’s own mental health challenges. But can we please stop pretending our former world with long working hours, stressful commutes, hectic crowds, infinite choice, mass consumerism, air pollution, and 24/7 everything was a mental health utopia.’
And as my mum said to me on one of the many family quizzes over zoom, don’t think about being locked in at home, think about being safe at home.
You go to bed and tell yourself that tomorrow you’ll wake up early, workout, eat healthily, work productively, call your loved ones, and smash the day. 24 hours pass and you’ve done none of the above. You feel guilty. You feel lazy. You set even more unrealistic targets for the next day and the cycle continues. It’s very easy to become your own worst enemy. A small little technique I’ve used recently is to ‘do something’. A classic example being putting clothes away, a job I loathe. When you see that big pile and say to yourself ‘I can’t be bothered’, stop yourself and try putting one item away. Just one. If you don’t put any others away, that’s fine. But more often than not, you may find yourself putting a second item away, and then a third, and before you know it, that big mountain of clothing is gone.
You could also try this with exercise. If you decide you really can’t be bothered to go on a run and start to feel guilty, try just putting on your gym kit and going for a walk around the block. Before you know it, that walk might just turn into a jog.
The ‘do something’ technique has been a game changer for me and my mental health. The less you do, the less you feel like doing, and the ‘do something’ technique helps break out of this.
This week is mental health awareness week, and companies across the world have rightly recognised this, creating content that’s starting to open up the conversation more and more. But really, it’s mental health awareness week every week.
Because we all have mental health.