There is no health without mental health. Everyone faces challenges throughout their life and such struggles are suffered just as much as physical ailments like the common cold, even if sometimes less obvious. However, this does not mean we cannot endeavour to take steps as individuals, to regulate our own minds and put measures in place to help take control and at the same time remember to look out for each other.
The stresses and strains of the last 6 months and ongoing worries regarding COVID 19, gradually moving back to work, commuting to the office, returning to school and universities as well as the worldwide financial downturn and resulting economic worries, are all adding to the mental strain that we experience every day.
MIND Charity have carried out a survey which revealed that the existing inequalities in the UK have grown wider following the COVID-19 pandemic and have increased the mental health struggles faced by the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community.
As professionals operating in the commercial contract lifecycle, we often get involved in helping resolve complex and high-pressure issues and therefore it is more important than ever to be aware of each other’s wellbeing and take whatever steps we can to help protect ourselves and those around us.
Below listed are a few tips as suggestions on how to take steps to regain control of your mind and seize each and every day. If you need more information or need to talk to somebody about the points raised, then please contact MIND. Some of these points are sound bites or quick takeaways, intended to be easy prompts to remember when you are feeling the pressure. Underneath this there is far more help and advice available from various sources such as NHS 111, the NHS website and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Taking action and getting things done will prompt rewards and rewards prompt happiness and a sense of self-achievement. Do the hard things first, deal with your problems head on and don’t ignore and bury your emotions deep down. Guard your mind from potential stress. Accept challenges and pursue them. Procrastination is the thief of accomplishment. Don’t let the habit of procrastination steal your goals! LinkedIn offer various talks, training and self-help, for example, on how to overcome procrastination.
Take control of your body, your mind and your physical health. If you are able, physical exercise has been proven to help. Most problems are created through one’s own distorted thinking but mastering your own emotions will give you the ability to maintain logical thinking. Do not let negative thoughts stop you from moving forward. You can find some practical tips on how to take control of your own emotions here.
Try to control your sleeping pattern so that you can get a regular night’s sleep. The Sleep Foundation advises that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. A healthy relationship with sleep will regulate the negative chemicals of the brain.
Control of your diet is also imperative. Vitamin deficiencies will boost negative thoughts. Balance your diet in terms of nutrition but also in terms of healthy eating and a healthy weight. Easier said than done in this modern fast paced and fast food environment we live in – especially when working in a pressured environment where a quick boost from a strong coffee and a chocolate bar might be the obvious option. The British Nutrition Foundation recommends healthy alternatives such as fruit, nuts and yoghurt. Joe Wicks proved very popular during lockdown with a fitness regime designed so that you can do it anywhere and are done and dusted in less than half an hour.
Focus on things that you can control in life, reflect on your own actions, learn from your mistakes and continue to compete with your past self. Everyday aim to be better than who you were yesterday. Forbes has put together some practical advice on how to turn past mistakes into valuable life lessons, which can be viewed here.
Learning is essential to growth and massively boosts your sense of self-worth and confidence, also expanding your capabilities and experience. Knowledge is power. There are many webinars available as well as audio books and TED talks that can be readily consumed, often whilst doing other things. These can be great for expanding your knowledge, improving your skills and also engaging with others.
Lasting and satisfying relationships are imperative to everyone’s happiness. As humans, social connections are vital to our emotional well-being. Love, support and encourage. Good relationships are a basic human need and we all should put time and effort into the ones we love.
Altruism is natural to human-beings and geared into our brains. One passion common to all of us is the foundation of giving. By trying to support others, you will massively improve your own sense of self-esteem and essentially improve your mental health. Being kind to others is being kind to ourselves.
Acknowledge all the positives of your life and practice daily gratitude. Give thanks in all circumstances and appreciation in all parts of your life, for all things big and small. It is easy to be ignorant of the positives in your life but building gratitude is a choice which is good for yourself and others around you. Demonstrate kindness to yourself and the people you share your life with, every day.
Work hard, play hard. It is imperative to achieve balance, achieving your goals but also to spend your life trying to find time to do things you enjoy. Treat yourself, don’t beat yourself!
We are not experts in wellbeing or mental health and picked up these points from reading around articles and webinars from experts in this field. Something we are experts in is helping organisations solve their pain points and overcome problems across the commercial contract lifecycle, and this means we do get to see people in pressured situations. They are the assignments we at Clear like to target and help resolve.
We wanted to offer up these suggestions, tips and sound bites as much as anything to keep everyone talking about how they feel, normalising the conversation to check on your colleagues in stressful times and therefore generally looking out for each.
Go on – challenge yourself to be better, in various ways, than yourself yesterday and challenge yourself again to keep growing to be better the day after and the day after that…good luck!