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Kindness and mindfulness – tips to a healthier and happier mind

What we might not all realise is that everyone has mental health, whether it be good or poor mental health, everyone has it, and a person’s mental health can fluctuate in a day or from day to day. The term ‘mental health’ should not just be associated with those that are suffering.

It is no secret that over the past 15 months there has been a spike in poor mental health, caused by lockdowns, restrictions and a lack of social interaction, routine and normality. If you have found yourself feeling low, anxious or deflated, you are not alone. It has been more important than ever to check in on those around you as well as taking time to focus on yourself. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and while the theme this year is nature, here are a variety of ways to be kind to your mind, both in and out of nature:

  • Exercise – Take daily walks or try a new exercise like cycling or running. On a rainy day, Lauren, our marketing and communications executive, loves to hula hoop to get her daily exercise when the weather keeps her inside. Be kind to your body and release those endorphins.
  • Practice mindfulness – mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing. Yoga, breathing techniques and meditation are great ways to start your mindful journey. Here are some tips on where to begin.
  • Take up a new hobby – why not try photography, sewing, painting or try a jigsaw puzzle?
  • Time to work on those green fingers – you could buy a house plant, start a herb garden in your back garden or finally make the step to get that allotment space you’ve been wanting for so long.
  • Sleep! Sleeping helps our bodies to repair and our brains to slow down and process information. Not getting enough sleep can have a negative effect on your mental health so don’t be afraid to have a guilt-free lie in at the weekend.
  • Listen to a podcast – some recommendations from CMJ staff are:
    – Serial
    – Dirty John (also now a Netflix TV show)
    – Happy Place with Fearne Cotton
    – Grounded with Louis Theroux
    – Table Manners with Jessie Ware
    – Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd 
    – The Joe Rogan Experience 
  • Read a book, this will help you to escape and take your mind somewhere else rather than focussing on things that are worrying you. Don’t like reading? Why not try an audio book? 
  • Keep a journal. Some people like to get their thoughts and feelings written down. Track three things that you are grateful for or that you were able to accomplish that day. Draw upon the positives and be mindful of your achievements.
  • Talk to others about how you are feeling. You will not be alone and the more you talk about how you are feeling, the more you can get it off of your chest. You may find others are going through the same thing and you can support each other. 

Looking for ways to support mental health in your business? In December, Managing Director Emmet Cummins and Head of Marketing Fran Hopes completed a Mental Health First Aider course and are now the CMJ Mental Health First Aiders. The whole CMJ team also completed a Mental Health Awareness one-day course last summer.

They said, “With the events of 2020 putting more pressure than ever on everyone’s mental health, this course was particularly timely. Having completed the course and passed the assessment, we now both feel more comfortable starting supportive conversations with staff, as well as knowing how to guide them towards the help they might need to improve their mental health and get it back on track.”

Is becoming a Mental Health First Aider something that you are interested in? If so, please contact Simon Wilson from StoneHawk to book in your course with Dan Darwin. The duo were also guest speakers on a webinar during the first lockdown last year, check this out here.

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