Our Honest tips for top mental health, from getting your fingers green to creating a cosy corner

Honest Communications, a specialist garden and home PR agency, social media management, content creation and communications agency

It goes without saying that taking care of our mental health has always been important, but it’s safe to say that the events of the past year (and more!) have truly shone a spotlight on just how important it is to look after our mental wellbeing – and rightly so! And while we’re all fed up of hearing the dreaded phrase “unprecedented times,” there’s no denying that the past 18 months have been tough on us all. Juggling the challenges that living and working through a global pandemic has thrown our way has left many of us feeling burnt out and in need of some serious mental health TLC.

Here at Honest, we understand the importance of striking the right work-life balance and taking time out regularly to reflect, reset and recharge. It’s one of the reasons our work perks including offering flexible working hours, one duvet day a year on top of annual leave, and a wellbeing allowance to spend on whatever we feel may help to improve our wellbeing, whether it’s a spa-day, yoga classes or gym membership!

So, as World Mental Health Day approaches this 10th October, we’ve taken some time to share how we can look after our mental health all year round (global pandemic or not!)…

Get your fingers green

It’s estimated that millions of Brits ventured into the world of gardening throughout lockdown, and for good reason – studies have shown that spending time tending to plants has a huge positive impact on your wellbeing. And of course, we all love a spot of gardening here at Honest!

Whether you have a large, lush garden, a small allotment, a balcony or window garden, there are plenty of ways you can get stuck in. Why not start by creating a simple bed of a hardy geraniums, incorporating some potted roses or beginning a window sill herb garden.

Not sure where to start? There are shelves full of fantastic gardening books for beginners out there. We recommend having a read of “The Joy of Gardening” by Ellen Mary or “Get Up & Grow” by Lucy Hutchings.

Create a cosy corner for “me-time”

With winter drawing in, there’s no better time to switch off from the screen and dive into a good book with a cup of something warm. After all, it might be a little too frosty to go out in the garden, and you’ve already got those two great gardening books to read! But, finding the time and space to do take time out can be tricky, so try creating a cosy corner for some much-needed “me-time” in your home.

We recommend incorporating some gentle lighting, candles or twinkly lights, plenty of soft textiles and plush cushions, and adding some calm-inducing scents like lavender or chamomile for the perfect relaxing ambience. For more top tips on how to create the ultimate cosy corner, have a read of Creative Interiors blog here (oh look another of our clients! Do you see what we’re doing here?!).

For some extra calming benefits, invite your four-legged friend to join you! We are all self-confessed crazy pet parents at Honest, so if, like us, you love cuddling up with your fur baby, you’re in luck – stroking a dog or cat has been proven to significantly relieve depression or anxiety and reduce stress!

Breathe in the great outdoors

We all know that getting outside for a good walk and breath of fresh air does you the world of good. But did you know that, according to research, a brisk ten-minute walk can have the same mental health benefits as an intense 45-minute workout? We’ll take that! Just one short walk a day can reduce anxiety, lower stress levels and boost your mood.

If possible, try and take your stroll somewhere green, even if it’s just your local park. Natural environments have been proven to have an even greater positive impact compared to urban environments, and simply being in nature can create a calming effect on our nervous system – so get outside!

As a Derby-based agency, we’re lucky enough to have the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District on our doorstep – perfect for a weekend hike and soaking up some stunning scenery!

Stay social with friends and colleagues

While taking time for yourself is important, don’t forget to nurture your relationships, whether in your personal or work life. Strong social connections have been proven to make people feel happier and healthier, both physically and mentally! Schedule in a regular catch up over coffee with a friend, Facetime those long-distance relatives, or pencil in a designated date night with your significant other to make sure you’re staying social with your support network.

While at work, take time to get to know your colleagues a bit better. Not only will strong relationships at work create a more pleasant environment and result in better performance in the workplace, but it will also create trust and encourage colleagues to share when their mental health may be suffering.

At Honest, we have regular socials to help build relationships and get to know one another a bit more outside of work, because while we’re all about generating coverage and delivering results from nine to five, you can’t beat a pizza and glass of wine after hours!

If you’re looking for a workplace that really cares about your wellbeing, we’re always on the lookout for new team members to join the Honest family! View our current vacancies and get in touch here.