By Contributor LID Publishing
This Mental Health Awareness Week LID are sharing their Wellbeing Day initiative. Every month that there is not a Bank Holiday, the LID team will have a Friday off work to concentrate on activities that support and improve their Wellbeing. Our first Wellbeing Day was Friday 5th March, and this is how some of the team spent their days.
MARTIN LIU, COO AND PUBLISHER
During the days leading up to our company’s first Wellbeing Day, I was a little unsure how to approach it. In the end, during the evening before, I decided to create a plan, with a view to seeing what impact it would have on my…wellbeing.
7.30am: [Plan: take it easy; no rushing around.] Breakfast in bed and watched India v England test match cricket; followed by some “light” reading (Barack Obama’s autobiography).
9.30am: [Plan: physical exercise.] Ran to the bank of the Thames River. Have not run for some months, so it was hard work. It was a dark and gloomy morning.
11.30am: [Plan: option to check emails.] Checked emails. Found one that was screaming to be dealt with. But it was a nice one – finalising a new book contract.
1.00pm: [Plan: leisurely lunch.] Plan executed successfully (with the help of test match cricket).
2.30pm: [Plan: read a relevant book/article.] I had Ryan Holiday’s book, Stillness is the Key, sitting on my bookshelf for some time. Each time
I saw it, I made a mental note to myself that I should read it. I had no excuse on this day. So, I settled on the sofa to do so.
3.30pm: [Plan: option to check emails.] Did not check emails, but continued reading. However, Jennifer (my wife), who was working at home, told me that I was proving to be a distraction due to my stillness. So, I had to move to the bedroom.
5.00pm: [Plan: stop reading and review notes.] I finished reading the book (it was short), and decided there were three key points that I would try to implement in my daily life going forward.
At the time, the Wellbeing Day experience was one which was new and original to me (for example, even when on holiday, I probably would not have structured the day like that). I enjoyed it for the novelty factor and the feeling that I did do something “useful”. Later on, when looking back on that day, I realised its true value. The week immediately following our Wellbeing Day was particularly busy. But I remember my physical and mental energy levels were quite high that week, and I believe this was helped by the Wellbeing Day.
CAROLINE LI, ART DIRECTOR
I went to a concert for my Wellbeing Day. It is such a precious moment to enjoy live music after living with social distancing over a year.
ALEC EGAN, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
Upon wakening I felt seriously joyful, that feeling came from knowing that I was going to devote the whole day to myself. My key takeaways were:
- Commit to sticking to the list of your daily non-negotiables no matter what.
- Take exercise that you really enjoy, try to bring elements of spontaneity and creativity.
- Check back regularly how you feel during the day without changing anything, just notice how you fell both emotionally and physically.
I took a walk in the morning to tick off one of the non-negotiables, walking for 30 minutes outside. It was a rather cold day, in fact, it was freezing. It felt good to know that I followed through on my commitment regardless of the weather and I was making progress to establish a new habit.
Found an amazing video on YT Myofascial Unwinding with Satyarthi, which is a very much a free flow exercise routine you can integrate into your day. It is fun, it is super easy to do and it connects you to your intuition and very quickly you find areas you need to work on. You will feel better within minutes, you will know that you making progress to better fitness. Very easy to find 5 minutes in your day and repeat when you feel the need. No cost, no need to go to a class. Very effective.
I read somewhere that checking in on how you feel during the day will give you an edge. This is something I have been following now for about three weeks, it is so simple to do, and the results are short of amazing. Not so sure what happens in us or how it isexplained, but it works. Will continue with it and will recommend to anyone I know. I spent quite a bit of time reading, all my meals were consciously good and healthy. Met a friend and had a high quality dog therapy session.
AIYANA CURTIS, EDITOR
8am: As an RSPCA fosterer, there’s no such thing as a lie in, so I get up early to feed the cat and clean the house. Vacuuming doesn’t go down well with the cat’s mental health, so I take some time out to play with her and give some reassuring cuddles (luckily, this has benefits for both of us).
9am: Into the kitchen for the first round of batch cooking of the day. I’ve recently been diagnosed with IBS, so my mental health is now explicitly linked to my physical health, and vice versa. Eating the right foods is vital for me to have symptom-free days, yet it’s normally hard to find the time to cook meals that will be safe for my new diet. Luckily, this wellbeing day I’m able to set myself up for the week ahead, starting with a green smoothie, prepping the slow cooker for dinner, and baking some granola.
11.30am: After a few solid hours in the kitchen, I need a break before I go back in for lunch. I take the time to do a gentle yoga session. It might sound cliché, but I’ve been practicing yoga since I was a child and find it’s valuable to spend at least ten minutes a day on the mat, no matter how busy you’ve been. Alongside daily yoga sessions, I’ll also try and alternate between walks, cycling or a dance workout, so I do fifteen minutes on the stationary bike as well.
12.30pm: Back to the kitchen; this time to make lunch and a few different dishes to pop in the freezer, giving me dinners for the rest of the week.
2pm: Seeing as I want today to be as relaxing as it’s been productive, I help my Mum finish off the puzzle that we’ve been slowly plodding away at since Christmastime. The satisfaction from finally putting the last pieces in gives me a much-needed serotonin boost.
3pm: Final round of cooking for the day, and this time I’ve moved onto desserts. I bake breakfast muffins, flapjacks, ginger biscuits and finally a Bailey’s chocolate cake for my Nan’s birthday.
5.30pm: By this point, the sun’s disappearing and I’ve ran out of tubs to store everything in, so I call it a day and retreat to the sofa to watch Netflix under a very fluffy, comforting blanket. I’m currently avoiding alcohol so instead I treat myself to a homemade mochaccino: decaf coffee with whipped chocolate soy milk. As she does most nights, the cat returns for more cuddles, bringing me full circle with my day.
BEN WALKER, HEAD OF MEDIA
9am: Had a leisurely breakfast and read a proper newspaper!
10.30am: Went for a chilly but heartwarming mountain-bike ride through Epping Forest.
2pm: Did a new yoga routine to build core strength. Was vastly more gruelling than the biking: 15 minutes seemed like an hour!
7pm: Cooked a wine-and-cream-heavy fish pie using produce from the local fishmonger. Put all calories lost earlier back on.