The past year has been a real tough one mentally. Upheaval and change always threaten to challenge us, but amid the toil people have found ways to cope, from therapeutic baking to reconnecting with nature.
The latter has been so useful that the Mental Health Foundation have made nature the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Going for walks and surrounding yourself with green space, is just one way to combat stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges though.
Talking about your struggles and sharing how you deal with them can also be a huge help for yourself, and others, which is why we asked team Form to share the ways in which they look after their mental health.
“What One Thing Do You Do To Keep Yourself Mentally Healthy?”
“Over the past year, my skincare routine in the morning and evening has really helped me stay connected to myself.
“I spend about 15 minutes going through each step in my routine and I enjoy taking my time. In the morning I sip my smoothie and in the evening I give myself a short face massage with oils. It’s helped me feel grounded and ready to start or finish my day with a healthy mind.”
Issey Rider, Social Media Co-ordinator at Form
“Last March I started to journal. I had tried & failed journaling several times before but over the last year, I can count the times I missed it on one hand.
“Journaling is the last thing I do before going to bed. I start with what happened that day and have a section for ‘Feelings’ — how I felt and what I think caused it. This helps me understand my mood, get to know myself and what matters to me.
“My tip for starting to journal: If you can, buy a nice notebook you want to write in. Make it part of your routine and tell your partner or flat-mates for accountability.”
Marlene Rohde, E-Commerce Manager at Form
Connecting With Friends
“Connect with my best friend. I have a consistent well-being routine, with meditation and other contemplative spiritual practices, but looking for external support and feeling connected to other human beings is fundamental for our mental health. Sometimes a simple WhatsApp voice note is enough to lift up my heart.”
Natalia Bojanic, Brand Director and Co-Founder of Form
Walking Through Nature
“I’ve always been connected to exercise in one form or another and I tend to switch around to keep my interest up. The most consistent and easy however is walking which I do every day, after journaling and before touching my phone. I’m an early riser and live by Hyde Park so it’s an easy way to connect with nature and transition into the day.
“The daylight also helps with setting your circadian rhythm and consequently your sleep. I have a 6k loop I do which passes around the Serpentine. It’s nice to be by water and going every day you get to know the ducks.”
Damian Soong, CEO and Co-Founder of Form
Consistency At The Gym
“The gym has always been my number one coping mechanism. There’s something so simple and primitive about how it raises your mood, that I think works beyond the mere endorphin rush. I have a chart with my previous bench press records and when I get to the next level I feel a little buzz that just carries me through the day.
“I guess it’s that knowledge that I could do something better than the day before. What’s more, when I don’t hit it, which sadly happens often, at least I’ve worked my body. Nothing feels like wasted time in the gym. You just need to go regularly enough to enjoy the benefits.”
Richard Jones, Editor at Form
Make Your Bed
“As outdoor exercise has always been permitted, I’ve been sticking to roughly 100km a week on my bike, ideally split into three separate rides of one hour or so. Not only does being in motion feel great, but there is also that hit of endorphins from the exercise combined with sticking to a regular weekly goal. Going out multiple times a week, instead of one long ride, means the week gets broken up nicely too.
“Making my bed as soon as I get up (check out ‘If You Want to Change the World, Start Off by Making Your Bed – William McRaven, US Navy Admiral’ on Youtube) and doing 10 reps of any exercise (normally press-ups) immediately on waking also get each day off to the right start and set me up to be energetic and productive.”
Pete O’Donoghue, Head of Operations and Co-Founder of Form
“Meditation in some form always makes the biggest difference for me and it’s one of my non-negotiables to keep myself mentally healthy. One of my favourite forms of meditation is being out in nature. I’m really lucky to live just five minutes from a beautiful park.
“So I make sure I take the time to go for a walk in the park as much as I can to clear my head and be in the present. Because every time I do, my mood shifts, and I feel infinitely more centred and connected to myself.”
Vanessa Rohmig, Customer Experience at Form
Keep Your Eye On The Big Picture
“Whether I’m happy, sad, elated, or anxious, I always like to look at the big picture. We’re all undergoing the human experience, this big Shakespearean tragedy called life, and it’s beautiful that we get the chance to participate in it. Whenever something bad has happened, I like to remember that it’s an honour to experience it in the first place. So many people have been through those same feelings, and those feelings are what defines us as humans.”
“When things are good I always remember that good times are fleeting, and it keeps me present so I can enjoy them to the fullest. You cannot have good times without bad times and vice versa. The highs and lows of our lives are what makes us human, and when I take a step back to appreciate that rollercoaster, the universal script of life, it keeps me in the moment and gives me a lot of peace.”
Bryan Bumgardner, Head of Growth at Form