Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
When I drive past a cyclist, or see a group of runners, I often wonder. I wonder if those people enjoying pushing their bodies to the limits spend an equal amount of time on their mental health.
Flick open any news feed and there are items about healthy eating, the latest carbon framed bike and ten ways to get a perfect six pack. As for me, I have a one pack…well, you’ve got to start somewhere!
Businesses offer discounts to gyms and health spas, encourage people to walk or cycle to work and recommend the removal of chocolate and fizzy drinks from vending machines.
All this is good, no doubt, but how much effort do they really put in to mental health?
Cycling to the office and then spending 10 hours under pressure isn’t really that good for us. Reporting to a malevolent manager quickly unwinds any benefits our fruit and muesli breakfast may have bestowed upon us.
We are all under a stress load from the moment we wake up and it’s curious that organisations often hire people for their brains and then do very little to keep those brains in tip top condition.
Mental health is harder to discern than a six pack and doesn’t have the same sexy appeal as a go-faster mountain bike, but it is arguably the most important thing for any business to pay attention to.
A great way to stimulate our mental well-being is to get some blue sky above us. Beaches are the best for this, given the brightness of the light, the salt air and the general other-worldliness of the seaside.
A handy river will do just as well, or failing that we can spend an hour sitting outside under a clear sky. I do mean sitting too …not outside washing the car or pruning the roses.
We need to be still. To rest our brians. To let our senses recover from the overload of the working week. To just BE for while and to listen to the world around us.
Maybe your organisation could insist that at least once a week all staff will spend time under a blue sky. Perhaps, instead of subsidising cycle purchases, they could do what businesses did 100 years ago and hire a charabanc and take everyone to the seaside for the day. How cool and groovy would that be!?
This week take time to think about mental health and write an HR policy for it, so that it becomes properly embedded in your culture.
As for me, I have great fun coaching MDs on the beach, or sitting in my deck chair, or just spending a quiet moment sipping a cup of tea and watching the ducks on the river.
What will you do to make friends with Dr Blue Sky?
Next week: The Coaching Funnel
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