Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from the 10th - 16th May, and we at Heka want to promote the ‘Five Ways To Wellbeing’, encourage our members to check in, and see how you can improve your mental wellbeing. Mental health charity Mind, along with the NHS, state that there are five different steps you can take to improve your mental health, and your overall wellbeing.

The five steps are:

1. Connecting with others - positive relationships with friends, family and peers gives you a sense of belonging and feeling valued. Here are some ideas on how you can connect with others around you:

  • Book in lunch with a colleague: either in person or over Zoom.
  • Use the “bring a colleague” tool on Heka to invite and book a class with your colleague or friend, such as a cooking class with Diaspo, Disco Yoga or a free flexibility and mobility class with x-life training.
  • Go for a walk on your lunch break and meet or phone a friend.

2. Be physically active - exercise is proven to boost your mood as it releases chemicals in your brain. It makes you feel strong - inside and out! Exercise is also a way to set and achieve your goals. There’s lots of different ways to stay active, check out some ideas below:

  • Why not try something different like a beginner’s dance class with Pineapple Studios, a relaxing yoga session with Emayoga, or start slow with a Tai Chi class. As long as you’re moving, it doesn’t matter! And, it’s just an added bonus if you’re having fun at the same time.
  • If you want to try the gym, why not book a free 5 day pass at an Anytime Fitness gym through Heka.
  • Track your steps and reach your goals using Fitbit smartwatches. They are over 10% cheaper on Heka than booking on Fitbit directly!

3. Learning new skills - increased confidence, connecting with others and a sense of purpose are some of the benefits from learning something new. It’s also good to get outside of our comfort zones from time to time too. The world is your oyster when it comes to starting a new hobby or developing a skill, and we’ve listed some ideas below to get you started:

  • Take part in online courses with Learning with Experts. All courses are £31.50 and take place in a virtual classroom. Choose from a range of choices, such as photography, cooking, baking and gardening.
  • Start a hobby! Whether it’s craft related, like cross stitching or knitting, or something physical, like golf or surfing. You could even just attempt the diabolical sudoku in the Saturday paper.

4. Give to others - as well as connecting you with different people, giving to others is rewarding and increases feelings of self worth. At Heka we’re currently speaking to different charitable organisations for our members to support but, for the time being, you can see some other options below:

  • Write a postcard or a letter to a friend or relative, or reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Spend time with a colleague, family member or friend who needs support, and really listen when they confide in you.
  • Research local charities or organisations where you can volunteer and get involved.

5. Pay attention to the present moment - the act of ‘mindfulness’ is a great way to regulate emotions, decrease stress and reduce anxiety. If you would like to work on being more mindful, here are some ways that Heka can help you get started:

  • Order the Mindfulness Box from The Sunshine Box. This includes a journal, crystal set, a guide on mindfulness and much more.
  • Download the CALM app, which provides guidance on sleep, meditation and relaxation and features audio programmes led by top mindfulness experts.
  • Take some time away from your laptop, phone and TV and have some screen free time to reflect on the current moment.