Have courage and be kind – Mental Health Awareness Week

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year, 18-24 May 2020, is ‘kindness’ and it couldn’t be more apt.

Here at In The Bag PR we are a small but close team and have always been lucky to have each other – especially over the past couple of months.  The most important thing for us during this pandemic has been to ensure that we are all ok.  The pressures of home-schooling, furloughing, health fears and the unknown have all been very scary, and amongst this we have been remaining positive for our clients too.  In order to do this, we have had to focus on our own wellbeing and mental health, to stay calm and do the best we can both at work and at home. 

After chatting as a team, we have these top tips that have helped us stay positive and healthy whilst working through the lockdown: 

  • Remaining in constant contact with each other and our clients.  Knowledge is power and if we’re all in on the plan, we all feel confident in the work we’re doing.  This can be difficult, especially in the world of marketing and PR where our work is fluid and often reactive.  Staying in touch, working on communication has helped us and our clients feel secure in the process.    
  • Setting up a comfortable and organised workspace has enabled us to stay creative.  Even with the kids running around and home-schooling being the daily joy that it is, having a separate space for our work has helped us focus and separate work from home life as much as is possible. 
  • Keeping active, with home workouts, cycling or walking this has helped tremendously with keeping the brain active, getting the endorphins flowing and offering more structure to our routines.  We have reconnected with the beautiful place we live by making it a rule to get outside. It is so easy to become complacent and take your surroundings for granted. But we feel so incredibly lucky to live and work where we do!
  • Getting dressed in the mornings!  This has helped add a start and finish to the day – up and dressed in the morning, PJs on after dinner when it’s time to hit the wine or chocolate (or let’s be honest both) and relax on the sofa.  Routine has been a key part in keeping us focused and feeling stable during these uncertain times.  
  • Not beating ourselves up!  We all have children (and partners) and the struggle is real! From home-schooling to getting outside, where in our previous tip we’ve focused on routine, we appreciate that this isn’t always possible.  We are lucky that if one of the team is having a meltdown, another is a phone call away to reassure and take over with work. 
  • We feel more connected to our clients than ever – this time has enabled us to speak with our clients on a more personal level. The understanding and the support we have been privileged to provide and humbled to receive has only strengthened our relationships with our clients and for that we are grateful. 
  • We have tried to use our extra time at home to read more and learn more about our field, from design to marketing we’ve been following trends, exploring new tools and trying to expand our horizons. 
  • We have always tried to offer an agile work environment for our team, understanding that we do our best work when in control of our own time and commitments.  We offer flexibility when it comes to time off and family commitments and our team works more efficiently because of this.  This pandemic, and the juggle we’ve all felt has shown us what we’re capable of. 

We really wish this awful virus had never appeared, as the loss of life has been devasting – but trying to find the positives that have been so important in keeping our heads above water.  We have been lucky to work through this as a team and understand that not everyone has the support system we have.  If you are struggling and need someone to talk to here are some vital numbers for support:  

Samaritans – 116 123

Shout Crisis: For support in a crisis (suicidal thoughts, abuse, etc.), Text ‘Shout’ to 85258

Mind: 0300 123 3393

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