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PayStream and Mental Health Awareness Week

Clare Baker

Clare Baker | HR Director

Monday 20th May, 2019

The week of the 13th to the 19th May was Mental Health Awareness week and each year campaigns are run around a specific theme. This year the theme was body image. The Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed with their body image that at times they have felt unable to cope.

During the week we wanted to play our part, however small in promoting the importance of and encouraging all our people to think about their own mental health and those of their colleagues. We set a number of challenges and activities for everyone to take part in, to get people talking and to encourage openness, a healthy lifestyle and transparency about how we are feeling.  We named MIND and The Mental Health Foundation as our chosen charities for the year too.

We also sent out, each day, some facts, information and tips on mental health and so I wanted to share one of our communications on self-esteem, with some words of advice that you may find useful – remember different things work for different people at different times:

  • Try to challenge unkind thoughts about yourself – you might automatically put yourself down. If you found yourself doing this it can help to ask “would I talk to, or think about, a friend in this way?”
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others – try to remember that what other people choose to share about their lives isn’t the full picture and comparing ourselves isn’t realistic and is futile
  • Try to do some physical activity – exercise can be really helpful for your mental wellbeing and some people find it helps improve their self-esteem.
  • Accept compliments – you can make a note of them to look over when you’re feeling low or doubting yourself.
  • Write a list of things you like about yourself – for example you could include character traits, skills or experience, beliefs or causes that matter to you or things you enjoy doing.
  • Do things you enjoy – you could take up a hobby, learn something new, do a creative activity or simply take time to read a book or go for a walk. Remember you don’t have to be perfect at something to enjoy doing it.
  • Set small goals – try a new recipe, learn the days of the week in a new language or simply look for information on something you’d like to do.

In addition Day 3 of Mental Health Awareness Week was Word Meditation Day - this was a call to the world to participate in this millennia-old practice and clear our minds, remembering we are people first and workers second. The frantic hustle and bustle of daily activities prevent many of us from ever having a moment’s peace. Meditation has been shown to have positive mental and physical effects when practiced, including reduced blood pressure and a calmer demeanour.

Celebrating World Meditation Day is best done by setting some time aside for yourself to clear your mind and relax. If you are looking for the first steps to a clearer mind these three Mindfulness Apps could be helpful:

  • Headspace
  • Stop, Breathe & Think
  • Calm

Evidence shows that staying in work can be a great help to those affected by mental health issues and working in general means better physical and mental health - giving us social contacts and support, a way of structuring our time, providing physical and mental activities as well as a sense of identity and purpose.

PayStream Rewards gives our umbrella employees access to a wide range of wellness and lifestyle assessments, diet and fitness guides, all of which are useful tools in promoting positive mental as well as physical health. So why not log in and take a look.

Read more in:

Related article - 10 ways to improve your mental health

Mental Health is making headlines and here at PayStream we understand that promoting a balanced, secure workplace and providing support where needed is paramount to ensuring you enjoy your job and remain challenged and engaged without undue stress and pressure. 

Read more here
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