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13 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week

Eliza Henesy, Data Management Assistant Manager, Redmayne Bentley

Discussing mental health is incredibly important, especially now when each of us has been affected by COVID-19 in some way. For me, mental health awareness is sharing experiences about our own journeys with it. Experiences can be so vastly different for people, so opening up helps bring people together and also tackles the stigma around the topic.

I don’t enjoy spending long periods of time alone and I’m very lucky to be sharing this lockdown experience with someone. However, I have found living in a different city to my family and a lot of my friends difficult. I’ve tried to be more honest about when I’m having a bad day and call someone to talk about it. A lot of the time, we end up talking about what series we’ve been binge-watching that week, but I think those conversations are equally important. 

It’s easy to focus on the struggles we’re facing, but a lot of my struggles are from a lack of normal conversations about nothing in particular! Finding a balance between the two is something I have been working on recently.

Redmayne Bentley has been providing employees with regular tips and activities on how to look after our mental health while working from home during the pandemic, and this week, the focus is on kindness and sleep. This bit of extra support has also helped me cope with the current situation.

We may all struggle with mental health issues at some point in our lives and it’s easy to dismiss them by comparing ourselves to others and thinking we’re okay. The more we talk about mental health, the more understanding we have of the many ways it can affect us and we can see when someone is struggling. 

It’s okay to not feel your best self all the time. I personally find it really uplifting to see people talking about mental health on social media. So many of us are spending more time online at the moment, which can be detrimental, but it can also be rewarding when people share their stories about mental health. 

In the current circumstances, we can think that we must come out of lockdown with several new skills under our belt or having improved our fitness. Personally, if I come out of lockdown feeling more confident opening up to people, or asking someone how they’re really feeling, then I’ll take that as a win!

Once the lockdown is over, I’m looking forward to being in the same room as friends and family and not just seeing them through a computer screen! I also like to think about things I can bring into my day-to-day routine that I’ve learnt during lockdown. I absolutely have periods of cabin fever, but I’ve really enjoyed spending more time at home and learning more about my neighbourhood. I’d usually spend my weekends visiting people or camping in the Lake District (which I do miss), but I hope I’ll give myself more time to enjoy being at home. I’ve also met some lovely people who live on my street and have really enjoyed feeling part of a community. 

I love crafting and I get bored very quickly, so lockdown has been a great excuse to learn a new craft. It’s taken me six weeks to successfully make one scarf, so I’m hoping my knitting career is going to take off any day now. I heard there’s a high demand for chunky knitted scarves in Summer...
Mental Health Awareness Week
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