2020 has been chock full of twists and turns, with many of us navigating the uncertain waters of the pandemic by focusing on the reassuring continuity of our daily routines. The challenge can then take a new direction, as we find ourselves so absorbed that we forget to stop, look up and take in the changing world around us.
To help the Netacea team pause and smell the roses, or the delicious aroma of the Christmas tree, as the year drawers to close, our Mental Health Champions initiated the Daily Action for Happiness.
Each action has guided the team towards taking time for themselves, connecting with their loved ones, learning new skills and taking a closer look at the world around them.
From contacting someone you can’t be with to see how they are and getting outside and observing the changes in nature around you, to leaving positive messages and planning new activities they want to try, here’s a snapshot of the Netacea team’s month of Actions for Happiness.
“On day 9 our action was to ‘Plan a new activity or idea you want to try this week.’ I decided to play football with my partner Andy in our local park.
“Andy is a very good football player and I have never played as an adult. Despite that, I was still slightly disappointed to discover I have just 10% of the skills I thought I would have. Andy taught me some passing techniques and waited patiently for a good 15 minutes, while I got to a grand total of one keepy uppy in a row. I left the park with a personal record of five keepy uppies to beat next time we play! (It would have been six if hands were allowed.)
“We played crossbar champion – Andy 5: Aneeqah 0 – until some bigger boys came along. It was really fun to run around being silly and falling over in the mud as we tackled each other. It was also great to find something new and fun to do together.
“We’re usually the adventuring types, having met while both travelling solo in New Zealand, so being at home this year has been difficult at times.
“As well as feeling the usual post-exercise joy, it felt brilliant to see Andy have fun doing something he loves. I’m already excited to repeat the experience.”
“So far I have been enjoying opening the advent windows. In particular, where the action is something I would usually avoid.
“I have enjoyed reaching out to colleagues who I wouldn’t usually interact with too much. Reaching out improved my mood, and in one case a few days later, someone got in touch to say how it had boosted their day too.”
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in the actions for happiness calendar; in particular those that involved doing something for others.
“I have used it as an opportunity to reach out to both work colleagues that I wouldn’t usually be in direct contact with, and get back in touch with friends outside of work that I haven’t checked in on for a while.
“It’s been a great opportunity for reflection, and in the process of setting aside a short time slot in the day to partake, I have strengthened relationships and re-evaluated my priorities.”
“Our day 15 action, ‘Go outside and do something playful such as walking, running, exploring or relaxing’, has possibly been one of my favourites. We’re isolating ahead of visiting family for Christmas, so going outside has become very functional. In fact, I only venture out for a quick run around the block at the quietest times of day, or to take the bins out.
“Use of the words ‘playful’ and ‘exploring’ made me see my daily breath of fresh air from a different perspective. I made sure I went for my run during daylight hours – rather than the dead of night – so that I could appreciate my surroundings, and that I took the opportunity to think about what I was doing; giving my very sedentary body an opportunity to move, while being grateful for its ability to do so.”
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