Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW). MHAW is an annual event designed to raise awareness of mental health and addresses the importance of looking after our wellbeing. Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation MHAW is one of the biggest events addressing MH in the UK and globally.
Each year there is a theme which is at the center of the campaign. Previous themes have included nature, kindness and body image. This year the theme is loneliness and its impact on our mental health. Loneliness can affect anyone no matter who you are and the issue of loneliness has only been heightened throughout the pandemic. According to research 24% of adults in the UK said they felt lonely during the pandemic.
Loneliness is the feeling you get when you don’t feel connected to others, yourself and to the world. It can have a long-lasting effect on our mental and physical health. If not a direct cause itself, then it’s something that can make things worse. Especially if you don’t feel you have anyone to turn to for support.
What did the team at Concirrus get up to during MHAW?
We got the Concirrus team together for different activities throughout the week that focused on connection, having fun and raising awareness of the issue of loneliness.
Mindful painting session
Research has shown that seeking a creative outlet can help manage our mental and emotional wellbeing. So, we got the team together for a mindful painting class hosted by our resident artist and Multimedia Designer, Nicole. Taking some time out during work to paint and relax helped the team de-stress. Check out some of our creations below.
Hello Happiness Workshop
Some of the team attended our ‘Hello Happiness’ workshop hosted by Stress Management Consultant, Joanne Freeman. During the interactive session the team learnt more about:
- the science behind happiness
- simple techniques to raise happiness within the body and mind.
- how to reduce mind chatter and more
Check out some of the team below doing a muscle relaxation exercise!
Our Marcoms Executive, Hannah presented our weekly FedTalk (FedTalk’s are a chance for us to get together every Friday as a team and share knowledge) on the impact of loneliness, how to detect loneliness in the people around you and how we can combat the issue.
The Mental Health Foundation asked people this year to share their experiences of loneliness as part of their #IveBeenThere campaign. Some of the team opened up during the FedTalk about their own experiences of loneliness and what they do to to become more connected with themselves and the people around them.
Below are some practical tips on how to tackle loneliness:
- Talk about how you're feeling. It doesn't matter if it's opening up to your friends, family or therapist. Talking about how you feel is the first step to coping with loneliness.
- Find a new hobby or join a club. Doing things in a group is a great way to feel connected to others. Even if it's daunting putting yourself out there you may find your tribe!
- Adopt a pet. Animals can provide companionship, reduce stress and bring lots of happiness into your home.
- Practice self-care. We may experience loneliness due to a poor or neglected connection with ourselves. Remember to take the time to give yourself a break and treat yourself.
- Disconnect from socials. Spending time on social media can help you connect with people all around the world but it can also make you feel disconnected from the real world. Take social media breaks when needed.
- Start volunteering. Helping others can also really help improve your mental health.
If you're struggling with your mental health you can find some helpful resources below.
- British Red Cross: Free mental health and wellbeing tools to reduce loneliness for young people.
- Let’s Talk Loneliness: Toolkit, resources and support
- Young Minds: Things you can do to stop feelings lonely