#WorldMentalHealthDay – how we’re taking care of our own mental health

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
09 Oct 2019

It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay tomorrow and many of us wanted to raise awareness on the importance of taking care of our mental health.

It was just last month when we were writing about our sponsorship of the guide to wellbeing for Comms professionals from CharityComms and Kirsty Marrins. It’s a topic that we’re genuinely interested in, so we’ve decided to involve the team as part of #WorldMentalHealthDay.

Fourteen members of #TeamLightful shared their own tips and personal thoughts on how everyone stays mindful and what works best when protecting their mental health. Hopefully, you’ll find it as heartwarming as we did!

How do you take care of your mental health?

Checks and balances

Checks and balances. Sometimes a big bowl of pasta is what I need to stay sane and sometimes I need to cut the pasta and make some healthy meals. Checking in with yourself and asking what do I need right now, what’s best? It’s always changing, sometimes it’s rest, sometimes it’s exercise. Sometimes it’s social interactions, sometimes some alone time. Do what’s right for you at that moment. Mental wellness looks different for everyone and it’s not always packaged in the “self-care” promotion we so often see. Reflection is always welcomed and check-ins help me maintain that. Something that used to work may not work anymore. Check-in. (Jamie Elliott – Scrum Master & Web Developer)

Digital detox

I’m having a digital detox for at least half a day over the weekend to stay away from the constant stimulation and distractions of digital devices. As a social media manager, this is both challenging and refreshing! (Tereza Litsa – Social Media Manager & Trainer)

Honest reflection

I reflect very honestly and regularly about my wellbeing. What makes me happy, what makes me sad or weak. Finding out what effects me positive and negative, helps me to create next actions, if necessary. Having control over feelings and thoughts as well as being proactive and independent is key for me to stay healthy and motivated in my personal and work life! (Isabella Grable – Talent & Engagement Manager)

Putting statements into practice

I start each day by looking in the mirror and saying out loud: 1. Today is the best day of my life. 2. Today I love myself unconditionally. 3. Today I listen to myself first and last. 4. Nothing is mine but everything is for me. And then I do my best to put these simple statements into practice – which is easier said than done! (Bradley Reeder – UX Researcher)

Mastering Google Calendar

I’m a big fan of my Google calendar. I block out the time I need and overbook time slots for actual ‘work’, and try to honour all my actual commitments. This has bought me time for travel and headspace. (Brendan Rodgers – Digital Marketing Manager)

It’s okay to feel bad

Exercise is definitely a big one – giving your brain the extra dose of happy chemicals it might be struggling to regulate. That, and reminding yourself that it’s okay to feel bad. Rather than getting angry at yourself for being down, and then feeling bad for feeling bad, if you just accept that it is what it is and let yourself feel your emotions, then it’s much more likely it’ll be a bad day rather than a bad week. I also try to take full responsibility for my own emotions. Things happen in life that you can’t control, but you can always control how you respond, even if it takes a bit of practice. You can mess up and learn to fear the consequences, or you can mess up and learn how to better tackle it next time. Obstacles are opportunities. (Jessica Neary – Full Stack Developer)

Controlling anger

I control my anger, it’s the very first thing I have to perform in order to clearly think towards anything better. Whenever something bad happens to me, rather than asking “why did it happen to me?” I reverse the question and I try to understand what life is trying to teach me in that circumstance. In the last years, I learned to let go of everything that is not under my control, holding on to pain doesn’t fix anything. In order to maintain my mind healthy I have to let go of what is hurting me, even when it feels almost impossible, we really only have control over ourselves and how we act, I also free myself from being controlled by what other people think, one of my favourite quotes is “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi. (Bruno La Versa – Head of Design)

Writing down feelings

I try to write down my feelings when I feel low, which lets me spill out my anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness etc and then I delete that 🙂 I have noticed change of space also helps a lot which means when I feel sad at home I feel good in office with colleagues which I suppose called distraction . The other way is I try to find the meaning of my life, how much I am important to my parents, family members and friends. (Preeti Agarwal – Senior Salesforce Developer)

Counting blessings every day

I’m not religious but I count my blessings every day. I’m grateful for all the good things in my life. I truly believe people can increase their happiness by making an effort be that way. Stress is inevitable and sometimes I cope with ‘switching-off’ and meditating. I can actually do this on a busy train sometimes but it takes effort! If I’m having a bad day I try to put it in perspective. There will always be someone in a worse place than me so it’s important to reach out to others to see how they are. It’s important to care for others and lift each other up if we can. I try to think positively and be kind to myself. (Jon Taylor – Salesforce Admin)

Being kind to myself

I am a people person and a people pleaser. So making sure that I am taking as much time to look after myself as the time I dedicate to those around me is my first step. When I don’t put this time in to take care of myself I burn out. Also being kind to myself and allowing myself to take a rest or a day off of the gym or buy myself a treat as I do deserve things. For too long I have felt not worthy or important enough to treat myself, but you only get one ride so enjoy it and embrace it! Working out what makes you feel something whether it be happy, excited, relaxed and fill up your life with these things. These I like to think of as radiators, they bring warmth into your life and add to your overall being. Then work out the things or “triggers” that make you feel sad, angry, anxious and try to reduce the number of these triggers in your day to day life. These are like drains, they take away from you. Not all of these can be avoided, so reducing the number of triggers is a good first step. Then it is accepting that things make you feel this way, you can then develop coping mechanisms. For me, those are exercise, self-care like painting my nails, having a warm bath, buying a scented candle amongst other things. (Emma Moore – Relationship Manager Team Lead)

By petting my dog!

(Vikram Singh – Senior UX Person)

The right book at the right time

I’m not a big fan of self-care books, to be honest. However, a good friend of mine suggested reading one. Maybe it was the best timing for me as I wasn’t feeling myself at that time. Best take away from it was paying attention to my kind of thought/actions when I feel down (even happy too). It’s a good inner exercise acknowledging emotions you’re experiencing and learn from it. This will help you to identify patterns you make (and maybe you haven’t noticed them) and change little attitudes. Final goal will be lead yourself to modify your mindset and behaviours when struggling. Focusing on moments that make you happy will help you to keep doing them and build your self-confidence when facing troubles. (Priscila Aragon – Customer Success Associate)

Share a mindfulness tip with the team 🙏🏼

Take a walk, create a playlist

When things get overwhelming, take a walk! Listen to an audiobook or podcast. Having someone talk to you calms me down instantly. Create a calming playlist, having something constant and reassuring you can always play when you need to. (Jamie Elliott – Scrum Master & Web Developer)

Use a meditation app

I like using ‘Headspace’ for meditation at the end of the day even for 5 minutes. It’s a great way to de-stress and sleep better. (Tereza Litsa – Social Media Manager & Trainer)

Run and have enough ‘me-time’

– Running – Quality time with friends and family – Enough “me-time”!!! – A tidy flat/desk/room helps to have a clear mind (Isabella Grable – Talent & Engagement Manager)

You deserve unconditional happiness

Probably the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a part of my own journey through mental health so far (among others): 1. You are unconditionally loveable exactly the way you are. 2. You are deserving of unconditional happiness. A lot of mental health-related issues can stem from when we’re not loving & accepting ourselves as much as we could, e.g. through self-criticism, poor boundaries, or not taking care of our bodies. There are many ways to practice self-love but I’ve found Buddhist loving-kindness meditation a good anchoring point during tough periods. (Bradley Reeder – UX Researcher)

Add extra time after a meeting

Add a 15min slot after meetings to your other bits out. It keeps me calm. (Brendan Rodgers – Digital Marketing Manager)

The clouds will always pass

You are the sky, and your emotions are the clouds. When it’s been grey for months on end, you can end up feeling like that’s all you are. But clouds are not the sky, and you are not your emotions. No matter how dark and long the season has been, the clouds will always pass. (Jessica Neary – Full Stack Developer)

Embrace alone time

  • Allow yourself to feel negative emotions.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Accept all the things you cannot change.
  • Never stop learning and be curious.
  • Stay alone for some time every day.
  • Do something creative.
  • Do something for the first time.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Focus on the small things.
  • Surround yourself with people you like. (Bruno La Versa – Head of Design)

Write down your feelings

  • Write down your feelings and delete it
  • Don’t think too much about what others think
  • Do what gives you pleasure at least once in a week
  • Try to understand other’s perspective
  • Give some space to yourself and others when needed (Preeti Agarwal – Senior Salesforce Developer)

Be grateful for the moment

  • Find a quite warm and comfortable place.
  • Focus on peace and comfort.
  • Be grateful for the moment.
  • Running helps me relax too. (Jon Taylor – Salesforce Admin)

Draw the things that make you happy

Take note of how you feel. Appreciate that is what you feel now rather than fighting it. Draw the things that make you happy closer and push the things that make you unhappy further away. Take stock of all that is right in your world. (Emma Moore – Relationship Manager Team Lead)

Pay attention to your feelings

– Stop and talk to your inner self when feeling sad/happy. What’s different? Why am I feeling like this? – Write some notes about feelings/emotions when feeling down/happy. Sometimes is useful to write it as a story as if you’re telling it to a friend. This helps to put some distance and will make you have another point of view. (Priscila Aragon – Customer Success Associate)

How do you stay motivated? 🙌🏼

Everyone has their own progress bar

Everyone has their own progress bar, as long as you are better than your yesterday’s self, whether you learned from a mistake or you overcame a challenge you have moved on your personal progress bar. Everyone has their own and there is no need to compare, you are always going to be further along than someone else and behind others, but your progress is in your control! (Jamie Elliott – Scrum Master & Web Developer)

Recognise the small joys in life

– Always having a short-term goal and a long-term goal in mind – Celebrating small successes with partner/friends/family – Recognising the “small” joys in life; being thankful (a sunny day, a good run, a delicious dinner, a nice email/message from a colleague) (Isabella Grable – Talent & Engagement Manager)

Create routines

Having routines to keep me on track with diet, sleep, exercise, etc. And anchoring points to return to like a daily meditation practice. (Bradley Reeder – UX Researcher)

Keep perspective

I take stock. life is good. even when life is hard. Keeping perspective keeps me grounded and focused. (Brendan Rodgers – Digital Marketing Manager)

Remember how far you’ve come

Remembering how far I’ve come from a place I never thought I’d leave, and how much further I can still go. That, and good music. (Jessica Neary – Full Stack Developer)

Find purpose

By finding a purpose in everything I do. (Bruno La Versa – Head of Design)

All about the smiles

Simply looking smiles at others faces and watching people grow. (Preeti Agarwal – Senior Salesforce Developer)

Be grateful

Be grateful. Count your blessings. Be kind to yourself and others. (Jon Taylor – Salesforce Admin)

Always for the better

I have a tattoo which says “Semper Ad Meliora” which means always for the better. I chose this phrase after a particularly bad patch of mental health I experienced. I am reminded that things happen for a reason, this has helped me to become strong, to move forward and to learn from my past. There are happy accidents in life, these help us to learn and to grow, to meet new people and in time, to help us understand and love ourselves. (Emma Moore – Relationship Manager Team Lead)

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