This year’s theme is ‘loneliness’:
Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place this week (Monday 9th to Sunday 15th May) with the official theme this year being loneliness.
As Mental Health UK highlights, loneliness affects many of us at some stages in our lifetime and it can be the driver for, and a product of, poor mental health. The covid19 pandemic gave rise to a nationwide sense of loneliness and isolation as our daily routines were put on hold. Many of us had also had far less access to visiting our loved ones.
As workplaces are also fast changing as an after effect of the pandemic, many more people embrace working fully remote or hybrid working. Mental Health UK urges everyone to accept this change but also maintain focus on building and maintaining meaningful connections with our colleagues.
The Mental Health UK campaign asks people and organisations to consider their unique contribution to tackling loneliness, isolation, and the barriers to connection. They recommended spreading awareness and inviting conversations about loneliness to try to tackle the issue.
The importance of taking a break:
No matter what role you work in, it is always crucial to take a break every couple of months. During these breaks it is important to really switch off and recharge the batteries – this means not checking the work phone, and emails and taking time to unwind and pursue out of work hobbies.
A lot of our peers in the finance industry will still work on their leave and face high levels of burnout – it is important to not let this happen!
At GCF we pride ourselves on promoting the general wellbeing of our employees, you can read more about this here.
We asked our directors how they handle self care and mental health, especially since the pandemic.
Paul Goodman, our Managing Director, commented:
“The global pandemic has allowed so many of us time to assess what is truly important to us. Personally, for me, I have used the time to rebalance work and home life. I have lost 5 stone in weight, regained some of the fitness I attained in my previous sporting world. This in itself has sharpened my focus; sleep has improved and general well-being is almost unrecognisable from before the pandemic.
Whilst a pandemic is an extreme way to achieve this result, it shows that time away from work can have so many positive outcomes. These in turn can make you more productive across all aspects of life. The best part though is realising that you can make more time to be with loved ones, life does carry on and the pandemic has proved, you never know what is around the corner in life.”
Roxanne, Admin, Compliance, and Relationship Director, noted:
“I sometimes struggle to find any time for myself. Running the house, family and working full time can be a struggle as any working parent will understand!
During Covid, I was at home all day with our new baby son and not able to work as we couldn’t have any childcare support and he was yet to start at nursery. This had a massive impact on me personally as I had no time for myself at all, had no interactions with any other new mums or baby socialising groups for him to learn social skills.
Now he is at pre-school 4 days a week, he is flourishing. I am back to work full time and have 3 sessions with my personal trainer a week which has helped me so much to realign myself and gain strength, mentally and physically to be able to cope with the pressures of everyday life.”
Stefan Radymski, Group Sales Director, stated
“I echo Paul’s comments regarding the pandemic, one thing that has particularly struck a chord for me with regards to mental health is routine and sticking to the good habits! For example, I now walk religiously 10,000 steps a day. Something I started during the pandemic. It gives me time to think about all things business/personal. Make some plans, targets, goals and clear my mind.
Just taking yourself off for that hour really helps you mentally refresh for the rest of the day. I really notice brain fog towards the end of the day if I don’t get that exercise and down time from the phone and laptop it has an impact! I think the message here is clearly around balance, it pays to rest the mind at some point during the day.”