Opinion

World Mental Health Day 2020

Today we support World Mental Health Day and its 2020 theme of ‘mental health for all’. It is a day that provides an opportunity for us to come together globally and recognise the important impact that our mental health and wellbeing has on our daily life.

We live in a world where prioritising mental health has never been more important. Many of us are now working alone from home or are facing job and health uncertainty due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statistics in England show that 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues each year[i]. Often these problems are surrounded by social stigma that can make it harder for individuals to open up about their problems and seek much needed care.

So today is about raising awareness and encouraging positive change in not just attitudes towards mental health but also in improving the support available.

Focusing specifically on our own events industry we are all aware that a career as an events professional is often fast-paced and high pressure which ultimately can impact our mental health. On top of this, we are now facing new pressures and uncertainty as the pandemic continues to affect our industry.

We are a people industry which thrives on delivering face to face interactions and experiences with our colleagues, clients, suppliers and attendees.

In a time where human interactions are limited and industry uncertainty continues, it is important to work together and provide a safe environment for those suffering to seek care.

As a company, Bray Leino Events, is committed to supporting mental health awareness. We understand that everyone’s experiences of mental health can be very different and often it is difficult to know where to start when seeking help.

With support from our mental health first aiders, here are 5 tips that you may find helpful:

  1. Take time to re-evaluate
    We’ve all had to step back from things that were previously present in our everyday lives, and as different elements start to come back, use this time to consider what you want to reintroduce into your life. If you’ve found that you haven’t missed some things as much as you thought you would, maybe it’s time to try something new!
  2. Be selective with social media
    There is no doubt that social media has helped us keep in touch throughout this period, especially in lockdown. But remember that it has its plus points and its negative points. It’s easy to compare your life with what you see shared and feel as though you are lacking – but remember that you are comparing your internal voice with somebody else’s external voice.  These aren’t like for like so don’t expect them to be.  Try to flood your social media with positive voices and let go or mute those that don’t add to your day.
  3. A good exercise if you are feeling worried, is to make a list of everything you are worried about. Then go back through your list and mark which you can actively do something about, and which are out of your control.  Then go through and mark off everything that is out of your control – you can’t change these things anyway.  You now have a list of things which are in your control and you can take steps to improve or change.
  4. If you’re working from home, try to have a dedicated workspace if possible. Manage your hours as if you were in the office and pack the laptop away once you’ve finished! It’s important to draw a line between work and home life for the sake of them both.
  5. Feeling overwhelmed? It’s not surprising – but here is a little exercise to help get you back in control. Stop what you are doing (as long as it is safe to do so). Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Think about how you are feeling and decide how stressed / anxious you feel on a scale of 1-10. Clear your mind and try to keep neutral thoughts whilst you breathe in and out 10 times (in a comfortable relaxed manner).  Then bring in a sense of gratitude (this can be for something as big or small as you like) and hold onto this feeling whilst you take another 20 breaths.  After this, revisit your feeling again on the scale of 1-10.  Hopefully you will feel it has reduced and you can carry on with your day, in very high stress days you can always set a reminder on your phone to do this every couple of hours just to reset.

 

For further help and guidance, here are some resources and organisations:

[i] Mental Health Taskforce NE. The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. 2016 [cited 2017 May 23]; Available from: england.nhs.uk