At Thrive mental health is always at the top of the agenda and we loved the theme this year and wanted to keep this very important conversation going.
As a result of lockdown, most of us have lost our connection with nature, spending most of our time indoors, at home, in an office or in a car. However, as humans we aren’t meant to spend so much time indoors. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers spending most of their time outdoors.
Could our health and wellbeing be compromised because we spend less time outdoors? There are many powerful reasons why we should down tools and step outside once a day, so this week try and use your lunchbreak to get outside.
Why should you go outside?
1. Being outside can help your productivity
2. Contact with nature reduces anxiety and stress
3. Time outside can affect the chemical make-up of our brain
4. Nature can help you learn mindfulness
How does nature help the Thrive tribe?
For Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked the Thrive Tribe to send us their experiences with nature and how being outside impacts their mental wellbeing.
Our associate solicitor Crystal said “I love being outside in nature, breathing in the fresh air. Especially during the first lockdown, it gave my day structure as we’d always go for a long walk at lunchtime; it not only broke up the day but refreshed my energy levels for the afternoon. I also feel very grateful for having a garden and being able to spend a lot of time outside last Summer, when daily exercise was limited to one outing”.
Our associate solicitor Alicia said “ Most of my self-care centres around projects and creative tasks; I struggle to switch off unless I have something to really focus on. As the sunshine has come out, our latest project has been the garden, and we’ve spent loads of time outside trying to plan for our garden to be a really lovely, relaxing space. We’re focussing on animal-friendly plants in the hope that we can attract more bees and wildlife there; at the moment we just have one very friendly bumble bee who buzzes around us all day. Alongside that, I’m also taking some of my other self-care activities (exercising, sewing, writing) outside too. One of the biggest things I’ve learnt is to walk during meetings and get outside where possible; I walk in circles sometimes as it helps me to not have to think about where I’m going.”
Our paralegal Uthman said “Growing up in Saudi, the colour green wasn’t often seen. A big factor to this is that Saudi receives very little by way of rainfall each year and its terrain consists of mostly desert. Every time I returned back to England in the summer, I was mesmerised by the different shades of green around me. My trips back during the Easter holidays meant I saw the welcoming in of Spring or during the Christmas holidays where I noticed the surrounding areas of nature slowly change and adapt to the seasons, because Saudi is essentially Summer all year round. Prior to the pandemic, I never truly saw the benefit of long scenic walks but as of today, this marks the one thing that I truly look forward to each day. Change your routine, build healthy habits and watch your life change”.
Our paralegal Deborah “I resonate so much with nature and mental health because walks and being outside play a massive part in my mental wellbeing. I have a huge connection with nature, I think because I spent so much time outdoors growing up and now my parents live in the countryside, so I love going there for an escape. The days I don’t go outside my health and wellbeing are 100% affected! Walking is part of my routine, listening to podcasts or music It’s when I genuinely feel my happiest and how I reset to be most productive. I’m so grateful that at Thrive I’m given the flexibility and trust to work when I’m most productive and having this flexibility means I can still look after my mental had physical well-being by going for walks and having breaks during the working day when I feel I need it. At Thrive we put mental health at the top of the agenda”
Our paralegal Bella said: “Whether it be embarking on an expedition into the wilderness, or simply taking a walk down a local country lane, nature attracts calm, healing and an appreciation for beauty. Nature enables us to stay afloat throughout difficult days and we should take the time to enjoy it and know that there is a rare patch of still amongst the storm somewhere, should we take the footsteps to find it. Being up at the summit of a mountain is an irreplaceable feeling for me personally, at which time I can ground my body and quiet my mind and feel the most fulfilment. Being in nature has a positive impact on mental health, which I am delighted has been recognised further during mental health awareness week 2021 and am sure it will continue beyond.”
Our Founder Jodie Hill said “I recently fell in love with surfing. There is something about being by the sea and resetting the mind when surfing. You can’t think about anything else. You are watching the waves; it calms your mind whilst you wait patiently for the right wave to ride.“
| At Thrive we are incredibly passionate about Mental Health and in fact, it’s the reason why Jodie set up Thrive Law; Jodie wanted mental health to be at the heart of everything that we do at Thrive, part of the culture and foundations and that’s why she called it Thrive Law. She wanted everyone to thrive in the workplace, in a law firm, which is unheard of due to the competitive nature of our industry. Many firms require more than 15 hours a day and crazy billable hours targets; she wanted to make sure her team were protected from these outdated and damaging practices and actively encourages us to get outside, to take breaks and to use nature to help our mental health, especially do over the last 18 months.
We ALL have mental health. Let’s help each other to keep mentally healthy and not to decline into poor mental ill-health. It can impact anyone at any time and right now it is a really difficult time for people. Below are some resources on Jodie’s YouTube Channel which provide some knowledge and awareness on Mental Health:
What are Mental Health First Aid Courses?
4 top tips to avoid feeling overwhelmed
What is a Panic Attack? My Experience and Tips
What does anxiety feel like?
This is Me – The Green Ribbon Appeal
The Impact of Mental Health on UK Businesses
#OneMind – Our Campaign to make Mental Health Risk Assessments Mandatory in the Workplace
Sky News Interview – Mental Health First Aiders in the WorkplaceThrive Wellbeing
Follow the link to her YouTube channel here for more educational videos.
Thrive Wellbeing is a mental health programme helping businesses to change their approach to employee mental health. Our 12-month wellbeing programme package is dedicated to helping you and your team champion mental health and offers something for everyone. The Thrive Wellbeing Programme has various online modules to complete, with guides for management, template policies, forms and emails, all ready to download and use in your business. As well as all these resources at your fingertips, you’ll receive regular email and video updates to help you keep the conversations going, and you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of 1-2-1 support from a dedicated, qualified solicitor.
This is an online interactive platform to create a healthy and inclusive workplace, it offers expert advice and support on mental health in the workplace! The programme has outstanding long-term benefits for businesses in terms of promoting a healthy and barrier-free workplace leading to reduced sickness absences and increased productivity amongst your staff!
Please get in touch here to invest in your business and your employees!
Please note this blog is for reference purposes only and is only accurate at the date it was published. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action. Please contact us if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org