Pre Covid-19 around one in six people experienced a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. With mental health week upon us — it has made us consider how many more people would now identify with a mental health issue since the coronavirus pandemic started?
Over the past decade discussions around mental health have become more common and widely accepted as part of people’s overall health. With businesses recognising the mental health of their staff as a key reflection on performance, more is being invested in supporting team members.
Many people are finding the change in routine and uncertainty stressful during this pandemic and we understand it can be challenging to find the support you or your teams may need, so in partnership with our inhouse health advisor Michelle Flynn and the Prism team’s input, we have compiled a list of some of the best tips, alongside useful resources/service providers:
Apps ~The ‘Every Mind at Work’ app works with businesses to provide their staff a tailored solution to each individual. When you log in to the app for the first time, it asks you six questions and then tailors your feed to match the concerns and needs you have. Everything from meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises and top tips on how to get to sleep easier can be found on this App. Other great features include customisation — allowing you to add team photos and links to company policies which relate to mental health such as working from home. There are also telephone numbers for numerous charities and helplines if you need someone to talk to.
Books ~ Apps are great, but sometimes it is good to get away from a square screen. Finding a quiet spot to read a book can help decrease your stress levels. “Mindfulness pocket book” by Gill Hasson is a great book that will teach you how to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routines. It really can be practiced everywhere! Finding beauty and calm in nature is easy once you take the time to slow down and look for it. It could be a flower that is growing from a crack in the pavement or a rainy day which means you get to take your children (or just yourself!) out to jump in puddles and see the joy on their faces… Remember to look out for rainbows!
Sleep and Sunlight ~ Fast paced jobs and stress can often lead to lack of sleep. Sleep scientist Matt Walker delves into the benefits and the negative effects of not getting enough sleep on the body and it’s no surprise that lack of sleep has a huge impact on our daily life. Lumie have been researching, designing and developing light therapy products for almost 30 years and seem to be doing a good job too! They have products that help with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) — Vitamin L and bright light can lift your mood, boost alertness and help you to feel more energised and “is the natural way to improve your general well-being”. The BodyClock is an alarm clock that mimics the light and colour of a real sunrise which helps to regulate your sleep and you wake up feeling more refreshed.
Breathing Exercises ~ Yes we all do this without thinking, but are you breathing properly during times of stress? Our bodies respond to stress by releasing hormones that increase our heart, breathing rates and ready our muscles to respond to danger. In our brains, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Enough on the science –breathing properly will help reduce the stress hormones in our bodies. @lovetolearnto offer free breathwork sessions twice a week — Wednesday and Sundays @8.30pm
Exercise ~ Another scientifically proven way to boost your mental health is exercise. The positive endorphins produced from exercise not only increases happiness and contentment, but also challenging yourself mentally and physically can help with your focus.
Getting active is a great step forward, from a nice walk to trying something new like tennis (now we can play in twos!)
Maybe you could join our challenge to be more active in 2020? The Prism team have all been keeping up their fitness during lockdown with Alex having PT sessions via Zoom, Fintan has been running more. Kyle is taking part in the Joe Wicks body coach sessions; Jack is lifting weights and Marcus is continuing with his swims in the sea and I have been enjoying lovely beach walks and Pilates.
Talking about mental health and breaking the taboo can be a huge step for anyone, so making these resources and support available for teams or utilising yourself can be a huge help.
At Prism Digital we take our team’s mental health and wellbeing seriously and have been promoting the use of the ‘Every Mind at Work’ app.
We hope you find these resources useful and remember our phone lines are always open to our friends, clients and candidates — sometimes it helps to have a natter!