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Mental Health Awareness Day at Saltus

14 May 2021

For Mental Health Awareness Week this year, as a nation, we are celebrating nature. It has been a long and difficult past year, where lockdown restrictions have meant so many of us turned to nature, taking walks on our breaks and catching up with friends through socially distanced strolls outside, as a way to cope with what is going on in the world around us. We not only spent time outside but in doing so we also noticed nature more, capturing the wildlife, beaches and forests. At Saltus we make a conscious effort to share photos outside, with each other, on our weekly ‘Huddles’.

As we continue to work from home, taking care of our mental health is increasingly important. We have asked some members of the Saltus team what taking time to take care of their mental health means to them, along with how they have been experiencing nature over the past year…

“Getting outside and taking some exercise is a lifeline for me.  The less I feel like doing it, generally speaking, the more that means I need it.  A half hour jog in the British drizzle with the dog may not be glamourous but it sure works miracles on my head.”

-Jon Macintosh

“The most important thing I do for my mental health is to go out for a walk in the early mornings, for about an hour every day, either along the seafront or through the woods.  Now that we are working from home there’s only a month or so of the year I start my walk in the dark – but being out early means I’ve been rewarded with some pretty spectacular sunrises.  Seeing the birds, the deer, and even the squirrels lifts my spirits (as long as I can stop the dog chasing them), and helps me put my thoughts for the day ahead into order.”

-Gill Hibbard

“I have personally learnt that mental health can impact anyone – regardless of how much you may believe it simply won’t impact you! It’s something that needs to be maintained and worked at.

Two things for me:

1.Getting outside for a run every other day. I’m totally obsessed! Running/ exercise are intrinsically tied to maintaining great mental health. You just can’t beat an early morning run when it’s just you, fresh air and some fields. Get some trainers on and get running; it will give you a new lease of life!

2.The great thing about Saltus is the supportive and friendly nature of everyone at all levels of the business. It shouldn’t be underestimated how impactful just talking to each other and sharing in joint successes can be. Having fun and keeping connected during this period is more important than ever.”

-Jordan Gillies

“Taking care of my mental health means taking some time for me, which typically means being active through cycling, a dog walk or pre-pandemic, a game of squash.  It’s easy to fall into the routine of long hours in front of a computer screen and worrying about the things I haven’t done but then I think about my family (and the dog), which a great counterbalance to corporate life.  When I get into bed, I wind down through reading my Kindle, which helps me not to think through the previous day or the next and lets me zone out.”

-Dan Underwood

“I make sure I exercise before work or after a long meeting. I try and reflect on what went well on a Friday afternoon and write down a priority list for the following week. I find this helps to start the week with a positive mindset. When the summer evenings become longer, making plans after work breaks up the week and helps me relax and refocus.”

-Lawrence Brady

“I always try and look, sometimes search, for the silver lining in every scenario, I believe I can always find one even if it is tiny.  During the last year, I have been able to really appreciate my garden and the changes in each season.  At the moment I have apple trees in blossom and the Peony that has lots of lovely buds.  In addition, as a family, we have discovered a very old programme we sometimes stumble on called ‘The Joy of Painting’ with Bob Ross (BBC).  He has the most amazing relaxing voice painting scenes from nature.  Halfway through we are all telling him that he has just ruined it, but it is always ends fantastically.  On our family walks, we have even noticed ‘Bob trees’ which look like the ones he paints.

Once a week we have also sat outside in the evening and look at the sky and stars.  It has helped we were one of those lockdown families that got a hot tub and we already had a chiminea to keep warm in the dead of winter.”

-Heather Pearce

 

Take some inspiration from our team and time out of your day to experience nature, this could include the countryside, parks, your garden, beaches, the wilderness or any plants and wildlife close to home, doing so can make such a positive impact on your mental health. If you are struggling, the most important thing you can do is talk to someone. There is no shame in asking for help.

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