Reflecting on last week being men’s mental health week and with the view to continue raising awareness, we caught up with some of our colleagues to find out how they were looking after themselves during lock-down.

The global pandemic and extended country wide lockdown has had a huge impact on our physical health however we also need to think about our mental health. A study from the charity MIND has also highlighted the impact of what social distancing could have on a man’s mental health in particular. The study showed 63% of men would be more likely to talk about their mental health over a drink with a friend. Obviously, the restrictions on activities and social interactions would have made this very difficult indeed and could mean that a lot of men do not reach out for help when they need it most.

We realise now more than ever how important it is to all keep in touch and talk to each other when we feel we need too, so we can all come out of this feeling as happy & healthy as possible. So recently when catching up with some of our colleagues, we asked them a few quick questions  about what they have found challenging during lock-down and what they have done to keep their physical and mental health well.

What have you found difficult about lockdown/social distancing?

I love interacting with friends and colleagues and meeting new people, it’s a huge part of my life, both in and out of work. Whether it be business networking, project meetings, a B2B or a social event, I’d typically find myself sat down doing something with someone or a group of people throughout my week. The initial impact of this suddenly stopping was rather daunting, finding yourself floundering without purpose initially is a strange feeling. From past experiences I know that the best thing for many is to talk, but this can often be a bit difficult in the first instance however does become a great relief.

What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

Spending more time with my family has been amazing (although not without its own challenges…), home schooling has kept me on my toes, flitting between the sort of lessons a year 5 has to do and a year 10 in GCSE prep helps you focus mentally! I’ve drifted back to reading as well, I used to be a prolific reader and have rediscovered my love of books lately. Physically, well I’m lucky enough to live on the coast so have been getting out for walks around the harbour and beaches and more recently as restrictions have lifted getting out on the water on a paddle board.  I did try Yoga on a recommendation but swiftly found that I’m not really built for it…

What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

I am looking forward to seeing the teams and colleagues come back together and ramping back up on the work front. I have a passion for all that we do and cannot wait to get back in to the thick of things (where I’m allowed!) and getting my teeth in to some challenging projects. Outside of work? pub, restaurant and………gym?

– Lee McDonald, Managing Director

What have you found difficult about lockdown/social distancing?

Strangely for me it has been suffering from bouts of anxiety. I have never suffered from it before and to be honest did not know what people meant when they said they suffer from it. The feeling of knowing something was not right but not being able to work it out has come as quite a shock. I am a strong character and usually find myself supporting others but I found myself being very closed about it and initially did not know how to deal with it but for once in my life I actually spoke about it to my partner and this helped a tremendous amount.

What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

As simple as making sure I went for a walk with my partner to get out of the house and to talk. Luckily, we have had mainly good weather throughout the main part of the lockdown and this has helped a great deal with the mental health aspect. It gave us time outside of the confines of the house, a time to talk and to take in some of the simple but beautiful sights that we have on our doorstep. Apart from the sights we saw and enjoyed, people’s attitude and friendliness shone through. Everyone being polite and friendly in social distancing and thanking each other for making space. This really helped.

What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

Routine and interaction.  Whilst I have been impressed with using things such as Teams and believe we as a company have embraced and used it well, I still like the office environment and the ability to interact with people.

– Huw Thomas, Operations Director

 

What have you found difficult about lockdown/social distancing?

It has been difficult not seeing relatives for the current 3-month period. Equally on a more practical level it has been difficult to not be able to nip to the shops as a family. With young children current guidelines mean that only two from a family group can go to the superstores so this has ruled out a lot of the usual trips.

 What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

I have been doing more exercise, making sure that I used the single trip out of the house to exercise when this was the only time allowed out. Since then I have kept this up and go out in an evening after work. This allows a change of scene after a busy day to allow me to unwind a bit.

 What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

It will be great to get out for a pub lunch and enjoy weekend days out in normality.

-Tim Mitchell, Associate Director

 

What have you found difficult about lockdown and social distancing?

Me and my partner live in a small 1-up-1-down house which makes working from home interesting as we spend all day in the same room and can’t ‘shut the door’ on our work stations at 5pm. Working on site has been surprisingly easy, though whilst drilling with a 1 man window sample crew social distancing isn’t overly difficult.  I have obviously missed my family as they are 2 hours away, though I can thankfully now see them.

What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

I’ve been doing lots of running and cycling as exercise always helps ease the feeling of being cooped up. I have also been doing a fair bit of gaming to pass the time.

What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

I am definitely looking forward to the office banter and going out for food/drinks. It will be nice once I can meet up with friends properly again too!

-Jonah Cook, Consultant

UKAS Accredited