Mental wellbeing is something that we take seriously here at Metis Ireland. We talk all the time about achieving your goals, living a fulfilling life, and being your best self, but you can’t show up as your best self if you’re struggling.
A study earlier this year from Maynooth University, National College of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin has found that over 40% of Irish adults suffer from mental ill health. That’s a staggering figure. And while mental ill health does require proper medical attention, there are also little things that you can do to take care of your mental wellbeing.
So, in honour of World Mental Health Day, we asked the team what they do to look after their own mental health. Maybe you’ll find a new stressbuster that works for you!
My top three stress busters are:
- • Walking by the river in UL
- • Insight Timer – Sarah Blondin Meditation
- • Getting into the mountains as often as I can, with my dog and no one else!
When I am stressed or struggling, I can go one of two ways; I either need to talk the hind leg off a donkey or need to be left totally alone with peace and quiet so my brain can iron things out.
If it’s the former, sitting at a loved one’s kitchen table talking everything out. Or getting out in nature for a walk and talk with my husband or family or friends and dogs is really the best salve.
If it’s the latter, I need a good book or trashy TV series, curl up on the couch, and just let my mind wander and relax until whatever has stressed me is either solved or discarded as unimportant.
For me, getting outdoors is always the best thing for my mindset. Whether it be a 15-minute walk, a run, or hike, getting out in the fresh air can really help your mental health.
Usually, it’d be a long walk or cycle to clear the head. For me, it’s that simple.
Depending on the source of the stress I might need to talk about it. If it’s work, explain I am swamped. If it’s at home, I need to figure out what’s driving it and express how I feel.
All in all, it’s a combination of light exercise for an extended period to understand the stress and then to communicate it if needed.
I don’t have a profound answer, but I like to go for a walk everyday – I feel this is proactive rather than being reactive to anything that could get in the way.
I think the best medicine for me is talking with friends or loved ones. I am a true believer that a problem shared is a problem halved.
Finally – I always enjoy chocolate – although this is more of a personality trait than a way to help my mental health. Who knows, maybe there is a link!
Sea dips and coffee with friends for me. Super simple.
So as a full-time working mum of two, every day is stressful. But there are two things I really love to help me take care of my mental state:
- • Taking my third child, my Golden Retriever Kyle, for long walks in the woods near us and letting him go for a swim in the Clare Glens. No headphones – just the sounds of nature and a big sloppy dog for company.
- • Friday night is always pizza night in our house. No better way to finish the week than a pizza, glass of wine, and movie with the family… although the movie is usually something involving The Rock as it’s the only thing the kids agree on!
I coach a rugby team for my mental health. I find it gets me away from day-to-day stress. It’s challenging and competitive buts it’s social and enjoyable as well. And there’s pints after matches too, which is always a winner!
How we look after our employees at Metis Ireland
Coping mechanisms and little acts of self-care like we’ve just discussed are excellent ways of keeping on top of things. But these things alone won’t fix mental ill health or keep you in the green. In order to thrive, people also need safe housing, secure jobs, and the ability to access a good quality of life.
As an employer, we have a responsibility to provide our team with a work environment in which they can thrive, feel comfortable and happy, and find fulfilment. That doesn’t just mean lunchtime walks, pizza parties, and the odd team night out (although we do do those and they’re great fun!). We have a responsibility to pay a fair wage and give benefits that help our team to experience the quality of life they deserve.
We did a lot of work early this year to make sure that that was the case, and corrected a few things which we didn’t do so well in the past – you can read about it all here. If you’re reading this as somebody who employs people, we would encourage you to reflect on the work environment you create and perhaps make just a few small changes to allow your team to flourish.
How you can look after your mental wellbeing
Remember: these are things that you may find helpful for keeping on top of your mental wellbeing or for alleviating moderate symptoms of mental ill health, but they are by no means a cure. If you or somebody you know is struggling, please enlist the help of a mental health or medical professional.
There are many fantastic organisations in Ireland that can help you if you don’t know where to start with seeking help:
- General help and advice: https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/
- Triggers and signs of mental health problems: https://www.mhfaireland.ie/images/documents/Triggers%20and%20signs_A4%20NEW%20Logo.pdf
- Advice and support for young people: https://jigsaw.ie/
- Support for suicidal distress and self-harm: https://www.pieta.ie/
- Limerick Suicide Watch: http://www.limericksuicidewatch.ie/
- Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/branches/dublin/
- Support for depression: https://www.aware.ie/
- There are many more resources available here: https://www.mhfaireland.ie/signposts
The first – and, arguably, hardest and bravest – step is reaching out and asking for help. You don’t have to go it alone, and you shouldn’t try to either.
Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
All content provided in these blog posts is intended for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always engage the services of a fully qualified financial adviser before entering any financial contract. Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland will not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of reading these blog posts.
- General help and advice: https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/