ental MoF? Yes we can be considered a bit crazy at times, but actually I’m talking about mental health – our mental health, your mental health, everyone’s mental health. Sometimes it can be considered a bit of a taboo subject, but actually mental health awareness is sooooo important and it’s something that our lovely MD has acted upon by launching a ‘Ministry of Fish Mental Health Awareness Programme’… but that’s a bit of a mouthful, so let’s call it the MoF MHAP for short(ish)!

Here at Ministry of Fish we all have personal experiences to share. Jane’s mum sadly suffered from Alzheimers and I have a close friend who is dealing with the implications of an addiction. These are just two examples. Be it directly or indirectly, we are all affected by mental illness and let’s not hide the fact that this can be difficult, worrying and stressful.

It is very easy to get caught up in the everyday management of other people’s mental wellbeing and as a consequence we can be neglectful of our own. The MoF MHAP is a way to ensure that all of us here take the time to think about ourselves. The programme provides sources of information – interesting and informative publications from MIND on a range of mental health issues; be it managing stress, understanding depression, making sense of mindfulness or how to be mentally healthy at work. Sometimes a simple reminder about how to organise your day to alleviate what might otherwise be a stressful one, can be really beneficial.

The MoF MHAP also provides, what I like to call, a ‘me day’ – a day to do something that benefits our own mental wellbeing. You could call it an extra day of annual leave, but it is definitely more than that… We can spend the day however we chose, as long as it is a day dedicated to us (individually of course); allowing quality time for ourselves. This is something we all deserve… and I don’t just mean us here at Ministry of Fish! Why don’t you follow suit by making the effort to take some time out for yourself?

Mind provides relaxation tips to help you look after your wellbeing when
when you’re stressed, busy or worried. You can watch their video in full at https://youtu.be/cyEdZ23Cp1E, but let me summarise here too…

1. Take a break – take time away from your normal routines or thoughts
2. Focus on your breathing – learning to breathe more deeply can make you feel a lot calmer and increase your sense of well-being
3. Listen to music – really listen and focus on it, letting other thoughts drift away
4. Picture yourself in a relaxing / peaceful place – either somewhere you’ve been or somewhere you’ve imagined – let your mind drift and your body relax
5. Try active relaxation – gentle exercise, such as walking, yoga or pilates
6. Use a guided relaxation exercise – such as self-taught or group
7. Get creative – getting in touch with your artistic side can help you feel more calm and relaxed
8. Spend time in nature – spending time outside and in green spaces can be great for your physical and mental well being