When I look back at my career, now spanning 25 years, open discussion about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace was pretty much taboo for much of it.

Fast forward to today, and thankfully and rightly it’s a subject very much at the forefront of any responsible business in relation to employee wellbeing, both in and out of the workplace.  

My working life may have been spent in PR and communications, but unknown to many I’m also a qualified mindfulness teacher and luckily for me as a director of a small business I like to spend much of my time combining both.

Within Torque we have a strong focus on wellbeing and work/life balance with a variety of initiatives, including time out of our working day to exercise and move around as well as weekly mindfulness discussions. So as supporters of World Mental Health Day and for all of us who find life challenging at times here’s a few things to consider:

Listen in to your thoughts.  

Stop for a moment and listen to your thoughts.  Are you replaying negative or unhelpful comments?  A good way to challenge this behaviour is to ask – would I say this to someone I loved a friend or family member?  If the answer is no, then question why you would say it to yourself.

Take a breath

When we are feeling challenged, under pressure or anxious it takes a huge toll on our physical body.  Simply taking three deep, intentional breaths, putting your hands on your tummy, and pushing the breath from there, can help calm our mind and body.  If you can, try it with your eyes closed and focus entirely on your breathing.

Move around

Often when we’re feeling anxious or worried, exercise is the last thing on our mind, but going for a walk and stepping away from the desk, even just for 10 minutes around the block can help to remind us that there’s more to life than the thoughts in our head and our immediate environment.  Exercise provides us with feel good hormones – so make yourself get outside – you won’t regret it.

Finally, let me leave you with a fantastic thought I heard during a recent PRCA (The Public Relations and Communications Association) conference from the very inspiring Michelle Morgan, who is an amazing advocate for mental health: “Everyone has mental health – how is yours today?”