From Monday 9th May to Sunday 15th May is Mental Health Awareness Week, with the theme this year being loneliness. During this week, we wanted to share some of the ways our Northcoders team take care of their mental health.
- Aim to be in a room with lots of natural light
If you are working remotely, make sure you are settled in a room with natural light. Bad lighting can be associated with various ill-health effects, both physical and mental, such as eye strain, headaches, and fatigue, which can lead further to stress and anxiety depending on the work environment.
Use meditation to reduce stress and develop concentration. You will also develop other positive habits and feelings for your mental health, such as a better mood and outlook, self-discipline and healthy sleep patterns. Check out 5 free meditation apps to download now.
- Immerse yourself in a creative process
This could be trying out a new recipe, attempting crochet, or doing a papier-mâché of a mushroom sculpture. It's always more satisfying if it is something that's outcome-based. For instance, here’s a simple recipe to make homemade pickled red onions.
- Take a break from your digital screens
Studies have shown that it’s advised to take a break away from your digital devices, looking at screens for a long period of time affects your eye behaviour and can trigger headaches amongst other health and mental effects. Most notably in late Spring every year, people come together from across the globe to take a look at their relationship with the electronic devices they have, they do so by participating in Screen-Free Week. Why not also consider taking a digital detox in the evening with your phone being kept outside of your bedroom when you sleep. This way you keep the stress of work and notifications from interfering with your much-needed sleep and rest.
- Get regular exercise
It's WILD how much even going outside for a quick walk can affect you. From a stroll through a city park to a day spent hiking in the wilderness, exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even upticks in empathy and cooperation. If working from home, why not spend time walking in the morning before you start your day or on your lunch break to space out your day? Strava is a great app to find local walk routes within your area.
- Spend time with friends and family
Surrounding yourself with a solid network of people who are your friends and family, whether this is meeting in person or simply having a conversation online or over the phone. It will also ensure you’re looking out for them as well as yourself.
- Get gardening
Gardening helps you to feel more content with the peaceful surroundings. It can also reduce negative thoughts and feelings and make you feel better in the moment by focusing on the tasks and details of planting. Here’s a beginners guide to gardening.
- Learn a new language
Learning a new language pushes you to express yourself with new ideas and dialect. Language learning also improves cognitive ability over time studies have shown, which can have several benefits for your overall mental health. Here are some local in-person classes near to you where you can start your journey. Duolingo is another fantastic online tool to improve your grammar and vocabulary within a new language.
- Immerse yourself in a new book
Reading a book shifts your attention to focus on the story with you also being lost in the finer details. Why not check out these 13 Best Mental Health books of 2022?
- Start a blog or diary
Are you passionate about something in particular? Journaling will allow you to build awareness of your thoughts and feelings, which in turn will promote positive thinking and self-talk. Medium.com is a great place to start writing your blog with plenty of different topics already on the website for you to take inspiration from.
Below are some resources we wanted to share if you are struggling at all, there is always somebody there to listen to you no matter how you are feeling.
Digital Marketing Executive
How I Became A Dev During A Global Pandemic
If you have a morning as I did — where everything you thought you wanted to do felt alien and you were craving another direction — take the plunge if life allows it and offers it to you.
Junior Software Developer and Mentor
2020: Rounding Up A Year Like No Other
2020 wasn’t the year we planned. But there were still plenty of bright silver linings for Team Northcoders. Here's Ruth's roundup of the year nobody could have predicted.
Head of Sales & Marketing