Monday the 16th of January has gained the well-known title of ‘Blue Monday’. Whilst what constitutes to the ‘the saddest of the year’ is widely recognised as a social construct, it is important to reflect on mental health and its associations at this time of year such as pressures of new year’s resolutions and links to seasonal depression.
At Kubrick, we are proud to offer our employees a variety of benefits that support their mental, physical, and financial wellbeing, such as mindfulness sessions, fitness classes, and free access to professional counselling. Our partnership with Perkbox also gives employees access to a wellness hub feature; holding an extensive library of ad-free wellbeing content from workout videos to mediation guides, to soothing sleep stories is available on the go at any time and includes 35+ scientifically proven talking therapies and hypnosis audio sessions
.Additionally, employees have access to our team of trained Mental Health First Aiders who sit across Kubrick HQ, both in the US and UK, and volunteer their time to support any member of the business with their challenges. After becoming certified, members are available for virtual or in-person guidance and deliver relevant content and events to support mental wellbeing throughout the year.
Insights from our Head of Readiness, Ollie Allnutt
We sat down with our Head of Readiness, Ollie Allnutt to find out how he maintains his mental wellbeing. Kubrick's Readiness team are dedicated to helping our consultants navigate their journey through Kubrick, play a key role in the allocation process, and support consultants with their development prior to embarking on their first client engagement. Some of Ollie’s tips include:
Taking a 'macro' view is key for me. I try not to dwell but keep momentum. This doesn't mean I ignore a situation's emotivity (as this could be unhealthy) but instead I try to 'zoom out' and see it in clearer context to my disposition at that time. If I can feel myself beginning to over-think something, I take a moment and try my hardest to stay present by practicing mindfulness - really trying to accept my feelings at that time and heighten my self-awareness to take back some control.
This is different from positivity! Positivity can run the risk of ignoring reality in order to cope. Instead, I favour optimism - the belief that the future will be better. In practical terms, I always try to ensure I have something, however small, to look forward to. Sometimes, that only needs to be that first cup of coffee, knowing I've pencilled in time to go for a run, or that I've planned something fun for the weekend (even if it's only Monday!). These things can be inexpensive and simple, but can they still bring enjoyment. Japanese culture subscribes to the concept of Ikigai - whilst I'm no expert on it(!), it essentially promotes slowing down and enjoying the little things that bring pleasure.
3.Keeping strong social connectivity
This doesn't mean having loads of friends - for me, this can run the risk of diluting connectivity. Aside from my wife, I have a few close friends whom I trust to be vulnerable and honest with, providing a firm base for helping me stay healthy mentally. Personally, it's more important friends listen rather than give advice.
Insights from our Diversity Champions
In addition, Joe Woodman who Heads up Kubrick’s Diversity Champions - a working group dedicated to improving DEI in Kubrick - said ‘Walk and breathe. I know it’s obvious but when I’m feeling strained and stressed, getting my feet moving and getting out of the environment I’m in is key. Equally focusing on breathing, I use the Breathing Focus App on my watch, gives me a sense of calm wherever I am which allows me to calm and relax.’
A few other tips from the Diversity Champions included:
‘Prioritising good sleep which includes a consistent bedtime and relaxing before going to sleep through either sleep podcast, guided meditation or gentle physio exercise’
‘Sit with your feelings for a bit – accept how you feel and don’t dismiss it or blame yourself for the way you feel. We are all unique and affected differently by different things in life. In the same way you might have a first aid emergency kit, why not develop your own mental health emergency kit; this can include a couple of your favourite pictures of people and or places you love, a couple of links to shorts videos - anything that makes you smile!’
Keep an eye out for our first Diversifying Data Podcast of the year that will focus on mental health.
Many thanks to all our Diversity Champions and Ollie Allnut from the Readiness Team for their advice and continued support for our Kubrick colleagues. For more resources or to find support, visit https://www.mind.org.uk/