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Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health

Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up on May 13th, 2024! Here at Virtual HQ, we're big believers in prioritising mental health in the workplace. Our flexible approach to working, with virtual offices, meeting rooms, and hot desks, encourages a healthy work-life balance.

Finding that balance is key to maintaining a healthy mind, allowing you to perform your best both at work and at home.

So, here are some talking points and our top tips:

About the VHQ Team

Mental health working from home

As the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped our work landscape, working from home swiftly became the new norm. Initially, many of us rejoiced at the idea of ditching the daily commute and forgoing the need for elaborate hair and makeup routines. However, the reality of remote work quickly revealed its negatives.

Working from home presents its own challenges—it’s a delicate dance of navigating our headspace. Without the physical presence of colleagues, it’s easy to overanalyse and misinterpret communication, leading to misunderstandings. The absence of face-to-face interaction can breed feelings of isolation, and as social creatures, humans inherently crave connection.

Yet, amidst these challenges lie numerous benefits. Remote work offers flexibility, which promotes a better work-life balance and reduces stress. One of its most significant advantages is the gift of time and the opportunity to be present for our families.

However, finding balance is crucial. It’s essential to check in with ourselves and recalibrate periodically. Stepping out to a coffee shop or a co-working space can provide a refreshing change of scenery and aid in restoring balance.

In essence, while remote work brings its share of obstacles, it also presents many opportunities. By embracing flexibility and prioritising self-care, we can navigate the nuances of working from home while harnessing its numerous benefits.

Walking for mental health

At Virtual HQ, whether our team is working from the office or remotely, we prioritise utilising our lunch hours for a brisk walk. We firmly believe in the importance of stepping away from screens and immersing ourselves in the refreshing embrace of nature.

Taking a stroll during lunch allows us to recharge our minds and significantly benefits our overall well-being. Incorporating physical activity into our day by getting those steps in is instrumental for our mental and physical health. MentalHealth.Org says that even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.

After a walk, we often return with a renewed sense of motivation and clarity. It’s a powerful reminder that taking breaks to reconnect with the world around us can yield far greater productivity and inspiration than simply pushing through without pause.

So, whether at the office or working from home, remember to carve out some time for a lunchtime walk. Your mind and body will thank you for it!

Let's Talk!

Don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you’re not okay

We’re fortunate to live in an era where conversations about mental health are no longer taboo; instead, they’re actively encouraged. Most workplaces now boast an array of resources, policies, and guidelines aimed at prioritising the well-being of employees, providing them with a safe platform to address any challenges they may encounter.

While it’s understandable that not everyone feels comfortable discussing their mental health with their manager or HR, confiding in a trusted colleague within the organisation can be immensely beneficial. At Virtual HQ, mental health holds the utmost importance. Our MD, Francesca, recently completed her qualifications as a counsellor, a journey that has already begun to shape her into a more effective manager.

By creating an environment where mental health is openly acknowledged and supported, we empower our team members to thrive personally and professionally. Remember, reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Together, we can cultivate a workplace culture that prioritises the holistic well-being of every individual.

Check-in with others who may be struggling 

Life keeps us all occupied, especially during the hustle and bustle of the workweek. It’s easy to dismiss someone’s behaviour as simply due to busyness. However, it’s crucial to take note of the behaviours of those we work with and extend a supportive hand if we sense they may be struggling.

You never know the impact a simple check-in can have. Sometimes, it takes a listening ear to validate someone’s feelings and provide the support they need. Other times, it might uncover something more serious that requires intervention. As managers, we must regularly check in with our team members. Are they content? Are they struggling with something? It’s not solely about meeting deadlines and completing tasks; our team members’ emotions and mental well-being are equally important.

By prioritising the emotional health of our colleagues, we not only foster a more compassionate work environment but also enhance team morale and productivity. After all, when people feel valued and supported, they’re more likely to perform at their best.

What VHQ does to promote mental health in the work place!

Wilson House exterior

Our buildings have spaces for everyone!

figflex offices peterborough

Take a break and get some fresh air!

frobisher house meeting rooms

Co-work with other like minded people!

Why is sleep so important for mental health?

The secret of sound sleep for your mental health is that you should think of it as the gateway to enhancing cognitive skills, which include attention, learning, and memory. Adequate rest empowers you to efficiently tackle life’s challenges, making minor stressors a breeze while ensuring a clear perception of reality.

So, if you want to study better for school or perform better at work, make sure you are prioritising your sleep!

But that’s not all… Did you know that insufficient sleep can also disrupt our emotional equilibrium, potentially increasing vulnerability to conditions like depression and other mental health issues down the road? It’s time to embrace the power of sleep for your well-being.

Here are our tips to get a good night’s rest:

1 – A filling, nutritious evening meal: Going to bed too full or hungry isn’t a good idea, and like Goldilocks, you want to have the right balance.

Our digestion massively affects our sleep quality, you don’t want your body battling with digestion and absorption while trying to rest, because that’s when your body is supposed to be repairing and recuperating!

Equally, your body needs enough of the right kinds of food. For example, protein converts to muscle when repairing, instead it will eat away at existing muscles for energy. You’ll wake up feeling weak and lack energy for the day ahead!

Zoe recently wrote an article on how gut health affects sleep, which is worth a read.

2—An evening walk: As we’ve said, we’re big fans of walking (especially outside, weather permitting!) So, even if it’s a walk around the block, do it! It’s a great way to decompress after the working day and to check in with your spouse or children at the end of the day. Leave your phone at home and chat!

3 – Lay with your legs up against the wall… hear us out! Laying with your legs vertically up a wall for 5-20 minutes daily can be incredibly beneficial.

Legs up against the wall pose activate our body’s nervous response, aiding digestion. It’s called the ‘Viparita Karani’ pose. It helps slow heart rate, decreases blood pressure, and relaxes muscles and mind.

4 – Move your phone: how many times have you woken up at night and decided to scroll through your phone instead of rolling over and going back to sleep? Be honest now! Take away that temptation and move it; it also means it’s not the last thing you look at before bed!

Conclusion

If you need someone to talk to but feel uneasy reaching out to those in your immediate circle, many mental health charities are available to offer support. Consider exploring the following resources:

Mind is a UK-based mental health charity that offers information and support for those experiencing mental health difficulties. They provide resources, helplines, and online communities.

Mental Health UK aims to challenge the causes of poor mental health and provide people with the tools to live their best possible lives at home and work.

Mental Health Foundation has prevention at its forefront, looking for the root causes of today’s problems.

Remember, reaching out for support is a courageous step toward prioritising your mental well-being. You’re not alone; people and organisations are ready to help you navigate difficult times.



Francesca's knowledge of the industry and business support is second to none. She's personally handpicked each one of our virtual office locations.

Francesca Dixon
Francesca Dixon

Sales & Operations Director

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