As well as Head of Communications for NVS, I’m also a voluntary Board Trustee for the Burton YMCA. At each Board meeting we volunteer to share an opening statement, this week it was my turn again. I thought I’d share what I said last night, seems appropriate during this week.
A few months ago when I enthusiastically offered to do an opening, the world was a different place, I had a great theme ready to share and then the world changed.
So back to the drawing board and what do I share now? It seems appropriate that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week and how apt that seems and how much do we and those we help need support mentally. The ONS said nearly half of people in the UK has experienced high anxiety and the UN said the pandemic has caused considerable mental health issues.
I’ll be honest, I had my wobble way before many did earlier this year, my hubby had been made redundant at Christmas and we’d started keeping an eye on the news emerging from China. We knew that this had the makings of a something much more serious. When the world had woken up to this in February and the UK in March I’d been through my anxious times and had come to terms with what was in my control and what wasn’t.
Since lockdown and working from home I’ve been on some helpful webinars and I thought I’d share some simple tips from a great guy called Stuart Baldwin who ran one called ‘Being Optimistic through the Storm’ – he’s on YouTube if you want to see any of them. The five areas to help us through and maybe something to share for those in our need are:
He also talked about our purpose, Our North Star, and keeping that clear in our heads. I think this is something that for us we need to remember and ensure that how we deliver our purpose may need to be adapted.
He also said that as leaders it’s crucial that through this crisis we:
- Look after our own mind-set and mental health and show up with the right energy to make our people feel safe.
- Coach the people around us on how they are thinking and feeling.
- Support our team’s well-being, resilience, and ability to deal with change.
This time is a strange time indeed, personally I take it one day at a time, I have a weekend treat (cake deliveries and Sunday lunch from the local pub are favourites) and we’ve discovered Netflix, What’s App and Zoom and my daily walk after closing the laptop keeps me sane. Sure, I miss family and friends in person and I long for the pool to reopen and our cancelled holiday was a blow but we, and loved ones are healthy and here.
My husband has paused the grand plans of another Fraud role and is now a key worker too, albeit temporarily, to keep the population in Burton fed and watered.
As we carry on weathering the storm let’s remember what’s in our control and what isn’t and overall, to us, our family and those we support, Be Kind.
Photo: Sherrie pictured on the right with husband Alex on left and our CEO Paul centre.