World Mental Health Day

FGA strongly supports mental health day and wellbeing. As a team we discuss our stresses and voice our concerns about work and for each other, empathy is key.

During the Climate Kic process we went through last year, we created our values and business model. Ondine, our trainer, brought in personal development and emotional wellbeing into the development of our startup. She mentioned we needed to align our business values to our personal values and that if we flourish our business will flourish. It was something we’d not seen in any startup support before and was a relief that it was recognised as part of setting up the business and wasn’t separate or standalone. Ondine also mentioned be prepared things won’t go right all the time, be ready for the bumps in the road. That recognition and advice was enough support to push us on, and this is also why FGA Travel Smart includes wellbeing as part of our policy work.

Brene Brown is a favourite of ours who is on Netflix and gives some very good powering up advice. I loved her advice of ‘get into the arena/show up and be willing to have your ass kicked! She also discussed the power of vulnerability which has 14 million views on youtube and globally known. Her no nonsense and funny approach works for me and it seems to many others too, as we globally still shy away from the ‘soft’ side of managing things, especially at work.

A friend has a business called Learn Adapt Build: ‘Through scientific research, change management, learning and personal development, we help radically improve performance, health & happiness at work – Measure what matters in your business.’

My friend talks of neurodiversity a lot which is recognising that people need different environments and open plan offices can be tricky for some to concentrate in and to flourish at work. Things have changed now we’re at home so we’ll see how things develop but this made a lot of sense to me. It explained why I always needed to escape to concentrate and why working from home, now for 2 years, works for me and the team. I also read in the Wired 2020 predictions that work places were recognising more the skills of autistic employees and were creating inclusive policies: ‘Autistic people have been overlooked too often because employers can’t see past social skills. That is a big mistake’.

Another friend also has an excellent creative approach to talking about her agoraphobia and anxiety through instagram which is called, The agorophobic Traveller.

My sister is a HR manager and her company are excellent at creating mental health initiatives, some are on my linkedin here. They at first created ‘Mental Health Champions’ but the name itself put people off and many didn’t join any sessions so they changed the name to ‘Wellbeing Partners’ and put events on without the label, as a place to discuss stresses, share experiences or just anything and it’s working really well. They meet monthly to work on planning their next events. One workshop coming up is a breathing workshop. We all need to take a few deep breaths right now! We also supported Mental Health Week back in May here and I posted my garden online as one of my staying sane tactics.

Last night I listen to a podcast, ‘Off Menu‘ , which interviewed Ovie Soko, the basketball player. He has written a book called ‘You are dope’ which is out this month. He said it’s kind of a self help book, again without the self-help label. One I’ve heard is good is The Subtle art of not giving a fuck, also similar stuff with a bit of an edge.

In a business world, I am happy to be open about the fact that things haven’t been easy, the pandemic sent another surge of stress and anxiety through me and the team but with a team, epsom salt baths, yoga, music and positive future-focused work we are getting through it.

We hope you have a happy World Mental Health Day!


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