By Marina Hui, Account Manager at Coley Porter Bell
Small talk in the office consists of two topics; the weather, and how tired we are. From sleeping badly to non-stop meetings, our brains never seem to get the break they need.
This 'always-on' mentality is not unusual, and the advertising industry in particular is notorious for its non-stop nature. However, luckily for us, this week Ogilvy signed a pledge with mental health charity Time to Change, promising to raise mental health awareness within our workplace.
This dedication was made as part of our Health and Wellness Day; a company-wide event that saw Sea Containers play host to a variety of talks, wellness sessions and exercise classes.
Myself and a few others kicked off our health and wellness for the day with a yoga session on the roof. It was a little windier than anyone expected, but once we'd pinned down our yoga mats we were able to enjoy a full hour of mental de-stressing. Despite our lack of physical balance, we found the session gave us a great mental workout that was both invigorating and relaxing.
In the afternoon I went along to a session run by UsTwo, the tech company behind a mental health app called ‘Moodnotes’. It’s a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-based mood journaling tool, with the end-goal of the app being to reveal to the user the ‘thinking traps’ they most commonly fall into. Personally, I’m sceptical that the answer to mental stress is to spend more time on a device. However, if you were to commit to using the app daily over a long period of time, I think it could provide an interesting insight into your mental health.
Overall, Ogilvy's first Health & Wellness day succeeded in getting lots of us to take a break from our jam-packed Outlook calendars, and instead spending a little time thinking about our mental health.
It was a great first step for Ogilvy, but it's important that we don't let momentum slip. Ogilvy’s latest campaign for Time to Change is all about ‘being in your mate’s corner’; we should take note from this in our day-to-day lives, and make sure that we’re supporting our colleagues by being considerate and checking in if we think someone might be struggling.
Mental health isn't a box that can be ticked; it's something that needs to be maintained. It’s hard to remember, but our brains need to be given time to recover after a long day of back-to-backs. Whether it's by switching our phones off on the train home, or making time for a hobby, if Ogilvy can prioritise our mental health, then so can we.