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4 minute read

Focusing on our wellbeing throughout Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

Our team came together last week to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Week, with activities focused around the theme of anxiety.

Team meeting MHAW
by Graphite Digital
25 May 23
  • Mental Health
  • Wellbeing support
  • Agency Life

Our Junior project manager Lynsey Moran (aka. Lyns) led the Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) volunteers, who deliberated on innovative ways to spark dialogue and cultivate ideas on how to manage anxiety.

‘Managing Anxiety’ infographic designed

We decided to create a new company resource based on answers from an anonymous survey sent to the team to crowdsource ideas on things that might trigger anxiety, and healthy ways to relieve anxiety.

The team’s survey answers were made into infographics and shared internally which brought about understanding of others by seeing into each others’ unfiltered, honest thoughts where we could see what and just how varied anxiety triggers are. The responses also acted as an epic list of anxiety-reducing actions that we could all refer back to.

Creation of a collaborative ‘Graphite Zen playlist’

It has been proven that listening to music can help lessen the effects of anxiety as it calms your nervous system and lowers cortisol levels. In our survey, we also asked the team — ’when you are feeling anxious, what song might you listen to?’.

With their responses, we created a collaborative ‘Graphite Zen playlist’ on Spotify that was expertly curated by Lyns before being shared with the team to enjoy.

Hosting virtual meditation and breathwork sessions

Every Monday morning, Lyns hosts a guided meditation session, which was a very fitting practice to include in our week’s activities. The team were guided to enter a zen state, which we can return back to when we’re feeling anxious which was a perfect way to kick off the week.

On Wednesday the focus was on a certain tool which is largely used to improve general well-being, and in alignment with the theme, we used it in the context of managing anxiety. Lyns led the Breathwork exercise, and by following her expert instructions, we learned how to decompress through controlled breathing.

Additionally, the song suggestions from our survey had been made in a playlist which was shared for the team to return to when we please.

Taking part in Wear it Green day

The Mental Health Foundation campaign, ‘Wear it Green Day’ was created to show support for raising awareness and combating stigma associated with mental health and although we work remotely, we came together in solidarity to highlight this mission.

Our team participated by wearing green clothes and changing the colour of their virtual meet backgrounds whilst attending one of our bi-weekly ‘Graphite Learns’ sessions on the theme of mental health, which definitely put a smile on our faces.

A webinar on Managing Anxiety hosted by Luminate

The following activity was hosted by Luminate, who run bespoke wellbeing programmes for businesses to help support employees’ wellbeing and mental health.

Luminate coach, Lia Younes shared with us the reasons why humans experience anxiety, how it can show up in our body and mind, and what we can do to take control back. Out three top takeaways were:

A. Identify your triggers

B. Allow it - whatever you resist, persists.

C. Create a toolkit for managing your anxiety (e.g. engaging the 5 senses, meditating, etc)

Creative drawing session

Despite the week having been centred around anxiety, a word that simply saying can spark discomfort, the team were in great spirits. Our final activity was a mindfulness drawing class, led by creative mindfulness teacher Georgie St Claire that both rounded off the week on a playful and balanced note and added to our growing toolkit of anxiety management methods.

Making mental health a priority every week

Although Mental Health Awareness Week spans only one week, we don’t intend to stop here. We will continue supporting however we can, and aim to remove stigma through action.

Not only do we support our team through 1-1 professional counselling via our Luminate package and access to services like 24/7 employee counselling assistance program, but we have recently had multiple team members qualify to become Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA). The work has started from the inside out, and there’s only more good to come!

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