Dogs, exercise, fresh air and TikTok rap battles, our team has a wide range of wellbeing rituals!
This Mental Health Awareness Week we’ve been getting each other’s tips for managing stress and protecting wellbeing. As we transition out of wintery lockdowns and cope with a ‘new normal’, personal routines and tricks are absolutely essential.
Having clients in the mental health and wellbeing space, and our own colleagues being open about struggles, Thinking Hat PR takes promoting wellbeing seriously. This Mental Health Awareness Week we’re taking steps to create a culture where these conversations are normalised, including a mindfulness painting class at the end of the week!
To continue the conversation, we’ve asked our team to share their tricks and routines to get them through when life feels a bit harder – read on to find out how we stay happy and healthy.
“My husband and I take our two Great Danes for a walk every evening. This marks the end of the workday and gives us time to connect and reset. We live in a village and I love bumping into neighbours along the way.
“After feeding and settling the dogs, I clear my laptop from the dining room table and set it for dinner. Then I enjoy a relaxed early night so that I’m fresh for my morning run – this is the real stress buster, and I relish the sacred ‘me time’, before the busy day begins.”
“When it comes to destressing, I change up what I do a lot. But there are a few things I like to do depending on my mood. One is writing down thoughts either in notes on my phone or paper can be good to clear my mind and park my worries to one side. I like to write poetry too. It’s something I’ve done since I was 7. Fun fact – I used to have a diary until the day mum read it all and embarrassed me!
“I also like lighting a candle and using a guasha tool with essential oils to gently massage the tensions out of my face, it’s really relaxing. Getting lost in a painting if have time too, it’s therapeutic and helps me get back in touch with my creativity.
“Just being silly and having a laugh is so important – I like to make TikToks with my 8-year-old sister or joke around having rap battles.”
“My go-to method for unwinding is doing exercise, so 3 or 4 times a week I’ll play a sport before or after work, like football or tennis. When lockdown hit and I couldn’t do that, I took up jogging for the first time like thousands of others, and really got into it.
“Now I find jogging helps my mind disconnect from work and stress, and so I stay pretty active, and have even signed up to my first half marathon. That and a trip to the pub or restaurant with friends are the keys for me!”
“I queue up the latest episodes of my favourite podcasts plus a good playlist on Spotify, then take Alfie (my Cairn Terrier) out for a nice, long walk in the park (ideally in the sun). I also read, work out, cook, and most recently have got into climbing – it’s super physical and takes you out of your head after a busy day. Perfect.”
“At the end of a long day, our puppy is usually ready at the front door for our ‘sanity walk’. Depending on the weather, we’ll either go round the local park or venture further afield for a couple of hours. We don’t usually get far without bumping into a neighbour or a new doggy friend for a quick chinwag.
“This year, adopting the pup has been like a membership card to the exclusive club of dog owners, who are usually receptive to stop for a chat. It’s helped us to meet new people, have interesting and unexpected conversations, get more fresh air and exercise, and to meet lots of new dogs too! There’s no better way to clear your head.”
“As someone who is happiest connecting with the outdoors, I was pleased that the theme this year is nature because I have a deep appreciation for how energising and mentally revitalising it is to be surrounded by greenery.
“Living in London, the closest I get to experiencing this is cycling the city and lounging in parks, however there’s no doubt that the warmer weather and increased outdoor activities have brough a balance back to my life that has made a huge difference to my mental health.”
“Working with our client Happiful the past few months has had a big impact on how I view wellbeing and mental health; I’ve definitely become more patient and understanding of people!
“It took me a while to nail my own pandemic coping strategies, but now I’ll go for a walk or a run to clear my head after work, getting some fresh air after a long day working indoors is essential for me to feel good. Cooking with a glass of wine helps me unwind too, I make a great puttanesca spaghetti thanks to lockdown! I’ll sometimes facetime my family in Ireland while I’m cooking and have a big gossip about what’s going on at home, and of course they join in with a virtual vino.”
“No question life can get a little pressured at times, jumping from work to parenthood and back doesn’t leave a huge amount of time to decompress.
“For me personally, I always feel much stronger mentally if I’ve been able to calve out some ‘me time’. In practice that means getting through the nightly bedtime battle with the kids and – on a great day – making downstairs by 8pm for some solid movie, music and (yes I’m not embarrassed to say it) retro gaming time. Other things that help me feel more zen include running, cycling and weekend trips away to the mountains whenever possible (Scotland, Wales and The Lakes are stunning).”
“I think that taking time out of your day to focus on yourself and your mental health is hugely important, and there are a few things that I do in my day to do this including, spending time with friends and family (now restrictions are lifting!), cooking and playing on the PlayStation. One of the biggest things for me, though, is making sure that I take time out of my day to exercise, whether that be going to the gym or for a walk/run with my dog. In this time I can just focus on what I am doing in that moment and not worry about any other priorities.
“As we have been working from home it can be really easy to just roll out of bed, open your laptop and start working. I have made it a habit to wake up a few hours earlier so that I have time to go to the gym, workout and get home in time to make breakfast before officially starting my day. Those extra hours are fully committed to me and really help to ensure I am ready for the day.”