With our very own mental health first-aiders, guardians and extensive training programme, SSQ champions mental health awareness. As it is Mental Health Awareness Week, we have been getting involved with daily sporting challenges to fundraise for the Mental Health Foundation during this uncertain time. Here our mental-health first-aiders Rachael and Dan talk us through some ideas about how to maintain and improve your mental health.

Week 8 in the Big Brother house. Dan and Rachael have gone slightly crazy and no one is watching. At times, our other halves would like to evict us but thankfully there’s no public vote. No diary room chair and no Love Island 2020 for spin off careers. We remain legal recruiters and look forward to seeing all our clients and candidates in non-virtual reality on our return to the office.

If eight weeks of lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that mental health is really REALLY important. We all have it. At times it’s good, at times it’s not as good. However, it’s absolutely OK to openly talk about it. Social media can convey rosy images of people’s lives but the reality is that anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and stigma can affect anyone and everyone.

This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week and, in truth, it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. COVID-19 has presented serious challenges to the mental wellbeing of each and every one of us. However, there are various ways you can use this time not only to maintain your mental health, but actually improve it.


We’ve put together a few suggestions:


1. Help others – We’ve all seen images of kindness, either directly or indirectly throughout this period and we’re proud to have numerous people at SSQ who have been volunteering in the community. If not now, then when? Use this time to help someone vulnerable with their groceries or simply call them for a chat. Host a virtual movie night with a friend who is living alone, arrange a virtual bottomless brunch in the sun with flatmates or search social media for ways to help in your local community. It is also important to be kind to ourselves during this period, more than ever. You might have a tough day, feel tired for no real reason or just feel a bit, well, meh. Remember it is OK to feel like this – learn to recognise when you’re having an off day and do something to help pull yourself back up. Remember, this isn’t just working from home – this is trying to work from home during a global pandemic.


2. Take up a new hobby – At the end of this the big talking point at any candidate and client meetings will be, “so, what new skill did you learn in lockdown?” This time can be seen as an opportunity to learn a new skill or develop an existing one. Ever wanted to learn guitar? Master every recipe in Dishoom’s cookery book? Take up painting? Run 10k? Now is the time!  Don’t let it slip away.


3. Gratitude – In a range of psychological studies, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps people feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity and build strong relationships. Gratitude can improve psychological and physical health, producing positive toxic emotions and is likely to lead to long-term happiness. Ultimately, we all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude so simply take some time to focus on all that you have, rather than the things you think you deserve. An “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction in life.


4. Talk, Talk, Talk – We are here for you not just to talk about your career or recruitment needs but also just for a chat. Use this time to connect with others and be sociable, via Zoom or at a socially acceptable distance. We’re all struggling in our own little ways to don’t be afraid to talk. We will get through this and we will all come out the other side stronger.


Have a good bank holiday weekend and stay safe!

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