Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Though it feels like mental health has been at the forefront of the past two months. And rightly so. In the current climate, and faced with uncertainty, we will have all experienced a change in our mental health.

Adapting to change is a challenge and a lot has changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. In our new working environments, some of us are alone at home, some are surrounded by additional pressures of home-schooling and some are faced with having more time than we’re used to after being furloughed.

Because of these changes, we have all been faced with the real need to look after our mental health more than ever. We’re proud of the way the team at Banana Kick has adapted. All of their individual ‘lockdown’ experiences are different, and we’re sure not every day has been a ‘success’ but they’ve stayed focused, stayed creative, stayed positive, and stayed well.

Here are some of the team’s wellness stories, sharing the ways they’re keeping their minds healthy and well.

 

With a new puppy, Marvin, April has been appreciating working from home, where she can spend more time with the young, excitable pup.

“Having a dog to walk gets me out of the house, no matter how I’m feeling and I’m instantly happier – especially on the sunny days! It’s been lovely having him around, and I can keep one eye on his chewing habits!”

Claire and her family have set a goal to go out for a walk every single day. They’ve even discovered new places to walk near their home.

“I’ve been living by #onewalkaday – this time is really tough on our kid’s mental health too so when we need a break in between homeschooling, we head out and chat about whatever is on our mind. We have even found paths and walks we did not know existed in the village. The distance we’ve covered, I could have walked to see my team Wigan play over the Pennines!”

 

Becky has been volunteering as an NHS responder with the extra time she has. Knowing she is helping others and can be useful during this pandemic has kept her going.

“I like to keep busy, so volunteering has really helped me to stay motivated and have a bit of a purpose. I usually do a Cake Decorating class too, which I’m really missing, but I’m baking as much as I can at home to practice the skills I’ve learnt.”

Beth’s been enjoying getting musical with her time spent at home. We’re looking forward to introducing some acoustic sounds to our Friday beers!

“I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar so I’ve taken the opportunity to make it my goal and give me something to learn during the lockdown. I love the feeling of achieving something I thought I couldn’t so it’s been great for my mental health.”

 

Ella is isolating and working from home at her parents in Northumberland, which has meant she can enjoy the picturesque outdoors and use it to stay well and positive.

“Getting up and outside has really helped break up the doom and gloom of lockdown. It’s also given me a chance to explore some of the beautiful walks and landscapes in my area, especially with the dogs with me for company!”

Banana Bread making has boomed during the lockdown, which is ideal for us as we love it! Hanna has been making plenty while staying at home and staying safe – and no two are the same.

“As I’ve been limiting my time at the shops to stay safe, I’ve had to get creative with my ingredients when baking. There have been some interesting results, but it’s been great to give myself these little challenges and see what the results are.”

Even though we’re apart from many, sometimes the increased amount of time at home with those we live with can bring on anxieties as we’re experiencing something new. We’re spending more time in full houses, without the alone time we might be used to.

“Grabbing my noise-cancelling headphones and listening to my favourite audiobook has been my absolute saviour. Sometimes I just need some me time to relax and unwind, whether I get out of the house or not!”

A striking difference to his usual digital content production, Scott has been crafting homemade furniture during the lockdown.

“Spending more time at home has naturally led to some DIY projects. Setting myself a task where I’m learning something new has helped keep my mind focused and creative. Plus, learning something new where I can build something physical is a nice change to my usual digital creations!”

We’re all in this together, but for some people, this time of uncertainty can feel extremely lonely. Let’s look out for one another. Check-in with your colleagues, your friends, and your family as often as you can. Be kind.

If you or anyone you know needs support, reach out using any of the below: