This Mental Health Awareness Week, the FutureNet committee has been talking all about what mental health and wellbeing means for us as internal communicators.
Mental health and wellbeing is a wide-ranging, important and sensitive area so it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to planning your communications. Particularly as employers and employees respond to restrictions easing and anticipate the looming return to the workplace for many.
So we banded together and pooled our recommendations for articles, toolkits and resources to help you plan your comms – and hopefully help you look after your own wellbeing too.
Transitioning out of lockdown and returning to work
In this article from Mind (Mental Health at Work) there is a useful toolkit of top tips to help you plan for a return to work and transitioning out of lockdown. It's useful for us as employees returning to workplaces and also could be useful in comms that you send out internally. There are also lots of other useful links for related topics at the bottom of the toolkit.
After a year of lockdown, many of us are finding it hard to think clearly, or remember what happened when. In this article, behavioural experts explain why.
Or if you've got five minutes, check out our podcast episode on the subject.
Supporting employee mindfulness
Supporting mental health and wellbeing can be overwhelming – especially knowing where to start when it comes to putting together an employee wellbeing programme. Over the last couple of years, some organisations started offering subscriptions to mindfulness apps – like Calm and Headspace – that help you learn how to manage feelings of stress and anxiety, at a time and place that suits your lifestyle. This list from the Independent gives you a good grounding in what's available and what might fit into your wellbeing offering.
The return to the workplace
This short article looks at what organisations need to be mindful of when returning to the office. Everyone's circumstances are different, and employers need to be mindful of this. I like that the article looks at the things a lot of organisations only started looking at more since the pandemic, and how to keep them implemented when looking at the return. Wellbeing should be at the heart of the 'return' and imbedded in all communications to make sure colleagues feel safe and supported.
Happy Place Project
Languishing and more about Mental Health Awareness Week
This is a good article to help describe the way many people have felt at some point during the global pandemic... languishing - a way of describing ones' wellbeing, somewhere between flourishing and depression.
This is a great article I spotted a few days ago that has an undertone of hope, that we're finally about to start moving away from languishing and hopefully towards flourishing again.
It's MHAW this week and this talks about the nature theme. Statistically, nature is proven to have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing and has been a key coping strategy for many during the lockdowns. Also, given the real crisis (climate change), it's good for us to stay connected to nature to realise its importance and how we each have a role to play to help protect the environment.
Action for Happiness
Action for Happiness encourages us to look after ourselves, and each other, in order to create a happier and kinder world. Their monthly calendars are packed with actions that you can take alone, with a buddy or as a team. It's a great resource to share with colleagues and encourage them to undertake the challenges together – creating moments for conversation and connection which in themselves will support wellbeing.
Grounded by Ruth Allen explores the connection between nature and our physical and mental wellbeing. The reason I've recommended the book is that it is full of advice, techniques and exercises that won't require you to spend money on apps, courses or equipment. Instead, it focuses on activities you can do in your everyday life, without the feeling of big asks or changes.
Manage your energy - not your time
"The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story." - this quote from the article resonated with me because it serves as a good a reminder that while it is expected of organisations to invest more in their employees, it is equally important for employees to recharge and keep a check on their energy-depleting behaviours to avoid burnout.