“A person with health has 1,000 dreams. A person without it has 1: to recover.”
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems, and to inspire action to promote the message of good mental health. We are totally on board with this at Ordo.
It’s reported that 50% of mental health problems are established before the age of 14, with one in four of us being adversely affected by mental health within our working lives. When you’re next in a coffee shop or supermarket, look around you: including you, roughly how many groups of four are there? Remember: every one out of those four people, including you, will experience a mental health problem at some point – that’s a lot – and yet still there aren’t many of us that are comfortable to openly talk about it.
Honing in on bills and payments, recent research by ATKearney tells us that young consumers are frustrated with how they pay their bills. Problems cited, in order of most frequently mentioned, were lack of visibility, lack of control, inability to control online and paying by direct debit being a hassle:
Suffering is suffering, pain is pain, whether physical or out of sight. And stress and anxiety are the out of sight types and they can often feel like a dark cloud hanging over you when it comes to managing your money, payments and bills, keeping on top of things and being in control of your income, bills and expenses.
So what helps?
Feeling in control
Feeling in control, and conversely the perception or feeling of powerlessness, that things are getting on top of you or becoming unmanageable, crops up a lot, and the lack of control can contribute to stress and anxiety. In today’s modern world, with constant communication, this can come from a variety of sources: your job, relationships, financial management or running your business, down to your bills coming out of your account without the company telling you how much they’re for this month (evidenced by the ATKearney research)…all of these can have you flying high one minute and worrying and despairing at the latest development out of the blue that you couldn’t control the next (and everywhere in between). So what helpsis when you can feel you are in control, which can often come down to information, a heads up, and some breathing space to enable you to choose how to respond in a way that’s good for you.
Exercise and nature
Studies have shown that exercise, being in nature and being around people all contribute to good mental health and wellbeing; so get out and have a walk or a run or cycle, even if it’s just from one lamppost to the next. For most of city dwellers “nature” will be your local park – it still counts! And if you can be outside and chatting with some fellow humans, all the better.
Connections with fellow humans
Speaking of fellow humans, our human brains love to be with other human brains; we’re social creatures. So be it with family or friends, colleagues, frolleagues or acquaintances, we need them all, keep up your connections in real life as well virtually and you’ll be soothing your way to better mental health.
And when someone is going through a difficult patch, like all of us do, it helps to still see people sometimes, even though the person may feel like seeing people less. We can play key roles in helping others live with, or recover from, mental health issues and overcoming the isolation that poor mental health thrives on.
Combining all of these – #RunandTalk
England Athletics have got sprinting on this and, in conjunction with MIND, the mental health charity, has launched its #RunAndTalk programme with the aim of improving mental health through running and talking.
In rolling out the #RunAndTalk programme, running clubs across the UK have appointed Mental Health Ambassadors and Champions to promote good mental health, raise awareness and get people talking about it. In support of this initiative, running clubs are designating some of their runs specifically as #RunandTalk runs, where you do what it says on the tin: run (at a slower pace so everyone’s comfortable) and talk, with hopefully someone doing a bit of listening.
Money, bills and payments, whether as a consumer, small business or both, can often be the cause of stress and anxiety and it’s exactly this wrinkle that we at Ordo are helping to iron out (we love a bit of ironing). Ordo is all about helping improve people’s sense of wellbeing when it comes to running their business and managing their payments, bills and finances, and that’s what we’re building our service to achieve. Have a look round our web site, and sign up to be the first to hear about our next exciting developments as and when they happen.
Serpentine running club organises regular #RunandTalk runs