- Posted by Chris Pollock
- On May 10, 2017
- 0 Comments
It’s May and the sun is out, so naturally us PR folk are stuck in the office, looking out fondly at the sun whenever we get a minute. Whether it’s media queries, crises, product launches, conferences, exams, or any of the other many, many tasks that occupy our time and our mind, we’re usually always in the eye of the storm.
08 – 14 May is Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, so we thought we would take a moment with our charity partner, AWARE, to bring you some tips to help find your calm this week, and to take these practices in to the future to try to balance the daily work/life struggle.
CIPR UK’s 2017 State of the Profession showed that six per cent of those surveyed suffer with their mental well being, and four per cent preferred not to answer the question. This shows there is still a stigma when it comes to talking about our mental health in the workplace, and this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is challenging the nation’s perception of just what ‘mental health’ is all about.
Together with Colin Minto, Founding Partner of APeopleBusiness and Mental Health in Business, CIPR UK will broadcast Colin’s upbeat appraisal of mental health, illness and difference by reflecting on his personal battle with OCD, and the benefits of living with mental illness, on their Facebook page from 6pm this evening (Wednesday 10 May).
The following tips are based on the Take5 for Mental Well being initiative; simple but helpful tips to weave into your day.
As difficult as it might feel to pick up the phone, send a text, or just talk to someone, give it a go as connecting with people around you can reap huge benefits. In the workplace, suggest a lunch with your team, take five minutes to catch up with how everyone is doing – it will be mutually beneficial.
Yes, we’re chained to our desks a majority of the time, but if we’re lucky, we might just get a half hour for lunch. Use it wisely, get outside for a quick dander around the block, or schedule in a good 30 minute walk after work. Light exercise is said to have a positive effect on a person’s mental well being and helps reduce the risk of depression, stress and anxiety.
Endorphins are the happy hormone, release them and let them lift your mood, clear your brain and help you feel good. One even better way to do this is to join in on an AWARE Mood Walk, which are taking place in Belfast, Glenarm, Portstewart, Omagh and Derry/Londonderry. Register here.
I’m not the only one who has put their head down at 9am, and when I have looked up it’s lunchtime. How did that happen? Our industry is notorious for this, we just keep going and going, and sometimes doing this unconsciously. Take a moment to be in the moment, and make a special effort to give your full attention to what is actually happening right now – your body, mind and surroundings. No doubt you’ll have heard of Mindfulness, and AWARE can teach you and your team how to practice it through their Programmes.
One thing us Comms folk need to do, is make more time for ourselves. If you have a particular passion project, try and make time to start it. Learn the piano. Take a writing course. Try your hand at photography. AWARE tells us that learning new things can make you a more confident person, and it’s always good to try something new.
If you are still challenging that Friends concept that there are no selfless good deeds, you could start volunteering for a charity. AWARE are seeking volunteers to help out at their Annual Mood Walk events, so you could give a few hours of your time to help other people with their pledge to be more active. If you want to start off small, just give someone a smile, or tell someone to have a nice day. It will not only make them feel good, but you will too.
CIPR NI has partnered with AWARE for 2017, and committee members will be fundraising and volunteering throughout the year. If you want to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about AWARE, visit www.aware-ni.org.
Image courtesy of the Mental Health Foundation