With nature being the theme for the 2021 Mental Health Awareness Week I’ve been reflecting on just how central it has been in the last 12 months for everyone’s wellbeing.
When the shops closed their doors, pubs and restaurants tucked their chairs under tables and the leisure industry ground to a halt we had very few places to spend our time in 2020.
Never before had green spaces been so liberating and necessary.
Here at Savvy we have been unknowingly celebrating these pockets of calm all year by introducing walking meetings; outdoor lunches and encouraging our team to get out in their WFH days and connect with nature. We also closed our virtual doors on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 as a day of reflection to mark the anniversary of the first national lockdown. For this day we encouraged the team to take themselves to a place of comfort and calm so that they could consider how the last 12 months has impacted us so significantly. Lockdown isn’t just a set of defined rules, it’s a place where our minds are held captive too, and we wanted our team to have some time and space to release them somewhere freeing.
Many of the team chose local nature beauty spots (as back then non-essential travel was also forbidden) for their day of reflection, our Yorkshire contingent heading to abbeys and rivers and woods; our London gang to banks of the Thames on bikes. Everyone having their own take on where they could recharge and reflect.
We also scheduled 4pm finishes on a Friday so people could sit in their gardens and start the weekend early.
In addition Savvy has a long established institution which is known as ‘The Friday email’. It’s a round-up emailer that goes out to the whole team and in it we have shared our lockdown stories of newly discovered beaches; peaks climbed; waterfalls admired and deer scampering through local woods. Sharing these moments has kept us feeling connected as we can dive into memories that were not ours and enjoy a shared sense of wonder at the world.
And that’s always been the Savvy way, being part of something bigger than we are by ourselves; so fitting it is that we continue to celebrate the magnificence of our world this week and its therapeutic benefits.
As Mark Rowland from Mental Health Awareness Week says “There could not be a more important time to understand the links between nature and mental health.”
And we say cheers to that!