In the UK, around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year, with anxiety and depression being the most common.

Here at Cornerstone, we think it’s incredibly important to open up the conversation about health and wellbeing and we’ve been speaking to the team about how they relax and look after their physical and mental wellbeing. Everybody has the right to feel healthy and happy and productivity is boosted as a result.

David, MD of Cornerstone says “It’s important that we’re all mindful of our own wellbeing, which can be complex as it ranges from physical and emotional right through to mental wellbeing.

Whilst there’s lots of guidance out there, it’s great to see people in our team not only working out together, but also gaining emotional support both within their work lives and outside work too.

A support network, and openness about health issues is key within any organisation, and it’s certainly something on Cornerstone’s agenda to continue to develop and enhance as the agency continues to flourish.

A healthy workforce is a great thing to have for any employer, and means that team members stay engaged, invested and most importantly, happy in and outside of work.”

Some of us here turn to crafts such as knitting for a calming release. Recent research by ‘Knit for Peace’ suggests that knitting can be credited for numerous health benefits. The process of knitting can actually reduce anxiety and depression, distract from chronic pain and can even help to slow the onset of dementia. There is substantial evidence to suggest that knitting is beneficial to the body and mind and has been deemed as relaxing as yoga, lowering the heart rate by an average of 11 beats per minute and inducing an ‘enhanced state of calm’.

Our head of design, Sarah, says “I find crafts like knitting really relaxing, it’s such a nice change from being at a computer screen and it’s great to get hands on and give your mind a rest. I’ve only managed a scarf so far, but my next challenge is going to be a chunky knit blanket”.

Speaking of Yoga, this is also a common activity for several members of the team. Not only does yoga improve flexibility, this stress-busting activity can improve mindfulness, boosting compassion, gratitude and contributing to greater happiness.

Yoga and knitting both aid in the management of chronic pain thanks to changing the individuals focus and turning off signals in the brain. The repetitive motion of knitting and the flow of yoga puts us in the present moment and triggers the relaxation response known to decrease blood pressure and prevent stress-related illness, enhancing the release of calming serotonin which can lift moods and dull pain.

Nicola and Zuzanna find their release on the back of a horse. Being out in nature, breathing fresh air and getting some much-needed vitamin D is the perfect way to clear your mind and unplug from the tech filled world and riding and caring for horses has shown to help reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Nicola says, ‘I just love horse riding as it’s my chance to escape from reality. It’s my tranquil place’.

Getting a dose of vitamin D is more beneficial than you might know. As well as maximising calcium absorption improving bone and dental health, this vitamin reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and lowers blood pressure by literally relaxing your blood vessels.

There’s a reason the Danes often top the polls as the happiest nation on earth and a lot of their wellbeing is attributed to the art of cosiness, hygge. Kat says that applying the hygge way of life is how she relaxes. “I think that taking the time to do the things you enjoy, appreciating the little things in life and unwinding with mindfulness meditation is really key to good physical and mental health for me”. It’s true, as mentioned earlier in the blog, taking a break from technology is beneficial for our health, and hygge encourages a cosy atmosphere with emphasis on togetherness with friends and family, being present in the moment and contentment.

You’ve probably seen the gorgeous golden lab who comes to work every day on our social media. Wilson is loved by the CS team and having a pet around has multiple health benefits. Seeing his wagging tail each day and being greeted by this happy doggo leaves a smile on the faces of the team here as they walk through the door in the morning.

Not only do pets help to alleviate stress and anxiety, animal assisted therapy is an effective treatment for depression and other mental illnesses and they are great company, resulting in a boost to your everyday health and adding to quality of life. Our Digital Marketer, Jess, speaks about the bond that we share with our pets. “There’s nothing more I love more than a chilled Sunday morning spent with a coffee and my cat, Woody, snuggled up next to me. There’s something special about the bond you have with an animal that is super calming and genuinely brings a smile to your face when you’re at your lowest. Next year we’ll be on the lookout for a Buzz to join Woody so he has a like-minded friend and I have double the snuggle!”

 

 

We would love to know how you look after your own health and wellbeing? Do you meditate? Do yoga? Or something completely different? Let us know and maybe we can give them a try too! After all, looking after our physical and mental health benefits everyone and we all need to take the time to tune into our emotions and unwind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornerstone DM