Spending time in natural spaces or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. During Mental Health Awareness Week, Site Manager and Mental Health First Aider John Hollywood, shares his own experience of mental health and wellbeing.

“I joined Landmarc in November 2019 as Site Manager at Garelochhead and its surrounding military training sites  in Scotland. I have a great balance of working both indoors and outdoors, either completing reports, going out on the ranges to conduct inspections or travelling to Kinlochleven, a site that lies at the eastern end of Loch Leven, at the foot of the spectacular mountains with views that are simply breathtaking!

“Throughout my career I’ve seen individuals who are suffering from mental health issues buckle under pressure and the effects this has on their life and on their families. That’s why it’s important to understand our own triggers, and being a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) has helped me to learn various techniques to help manage and cope with mental stress and wellbeing in the workplace. This also means I can recognise the early signs and symptoms if a colleague, friend or family member is struggling. It’s a fulfilling role but we must also look after our own wellbeing to ensure we are in the best position to provide support to others.

“My coping mechanisms for managing stress help me to prioritise mental health and give me some clarity and balance. Here are my tips to help us all thrive in the stressful times in which we’re all living:

  • Take breaks throughout the day by going outside for a walk. This gives us a breather from the stresses of daily life and can boost our creativity, health and wellbeing and work performance.
  • Take your holiday for your health, switch off, sit back and recharge. It’s there for good reason; taking a day off or enjoying a long weekend can help you feel refreshed and actually increase your productivity in the end.
  • Get outside and connect with nature; it’s essential to creating healthier minds and bodies. Nurture a love for the outdoors by exploring what’s around you and take up a new interest. Whether you live in the countryside surrounded by green spaces, or in the city, there is nature everywhere!
  • Develop end of day habits. Do something at the end of each working day, such as tidying your desk or making a list of what needs to be done tomorrow. This can help you to switch off from work.
  •  Ask for help. Everyone needs a hand from time to time. Discuss your workload with your manager. Talk about your targets for example and how you can solve any problems you are having.
  •  Develop good working relationships with your colleagues as this will positively impact on your workplace too. Connecting with them can help to build up a network of support and make being at work more enjoyable.
  •  Recognise what you need to help deal with the situation. Make sure you and your employer understand that you are dealing with a stressful situation.
  • Accept that in some cases the cause of workplace stress might not be work related. Try to talk to those around you or closest to you, this could just be a text or a message to someone who can listen.
  • Think about how you communicate. We can communicate in many ways, whether we are face-to-face, sending text messages or emails but what’s really important is considering how we communicate. Most importantly be your own best friend and be kind and take time to take care of yourself!