Mental health has never been higher on the agenda, with prescriptions of anti-depressants doubling over the last decade and social media being the subject of a report by the Royal Society for Public Health that suggested it was having a detrimental affect on young people.
Freelancing, or running your own business, have long been associated with increased susceptibility to mental health issues; the pressures of finding work, getting paid and forever projecting an ‘everything’s great’ demeanor impact a huge strain on our minds and anxieties.
Everyone has their own way to deal with these issues, so we asked PLATF9RM members and staff how they stay happy between their ears.
1. ANDY BROUGHTON, DIGIFINGERS DESIGN
I live right by the sea in Hove and my favourite way to unwind is to SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) on the ocean. I love cruising through the still waters on my board on a calm day when the sea is like a milk pond, or trying to catch a wave at low tide as the sun sets. It’s about being in the moment and letting all those day-to-day thoughts and stresses slip away. Sometimes I paddle out for half a mile, sit on my board and look back towards the shore and the city I call home. I like to think one day in a few years time my baby son Jesse will be able to come out for a paddle too on the front of my board.
2. CRAIG HENDRY, DRAGONFLY
If things are getting a bit hectic, I’ll take five minutes out and play ambient music though my headphones. It really helps to detach yourself from a situation and regain perspective.
3. David Hillier, Writer and Journalist
One of my New Year’s Resolutions for this year was to cut down my use of Twitter. Putting aside the whole issue of it being a toxic waste of time, I found myself constantly comparing myself to other people in my industry who were seemingly so much more successful. Many times I’d find myself idly scrawling someone’s timeline at midnight, wondering just why THEY are getting all the RTs and likes. This would then keep me up, I’d wake up feeling shit and the cycle would continue. So I deleted it off my phone. Nowadays I check it irregularly and only really tweet links to my work, rather than attempting to become part of the ‘conversation’ (whatever that is). It’s been a hugely positive move for me.
4. CLIFF ETTRIDGE, THE TEAM
I just try and remind myself that no-one ever died doing marketing!
5. KERRY LOCKWOOD, PLATF9RM
I plug in a podcast - I’m into Desert Island Discs at the moment - and sew. The combination of sewing and Kirsty Young’s dulcet voice instantly puts me in a relaxed state of mind.
6. ana Silva, HUMAN MADE
Being a member of PLATF9RM is actually really good for me because it forces me to talk to people, which I wouldn't do otherwise because I work remotely.
NB: Ana did not receive commission for this statement. Honestly.
7. JEZ KAY, NOW | HOUSE
If the whelm gets a little overmuch or I’m feeling a toxic there are two things I love doing…
1 - Trails Running
I always thought of myself as a runner. That was vanity. I was never a runner until I joined a bunch of other runners. Other people give you a reason to run - you can get fit and have a laugh or meaningful banter at the same time. And if you’re feeling that inner Mo there’s always getting to your Personal Best and exceeding it. I was a little freaked by the keenos when I started. Then I realised it’s just a bug we all share - “What’s your PB?” etc. It’s all quite healthy in the end. And you lose weight. The "middle ring" has to go and gradually we’re getting there :grinning:
2 - Bread Making
Bread machines are for Jessies. There, I’ve said it. If you’re feeling the need to get that angst and other stuff and nonsense out of your head, then pummeling a load of dough for 10 minutes is the best way to get rid of it. And once you’ve got over the first couple of dud loafs (largely because you forgot all about the 2nd prove or when you put the thing in the oven) sampling the finished product is a thing of great beauty and satisfaction.
7. DAISY CHURCH, PLATF9RM
I cook dinner for myself and my family. It’s my way of winding down because when you’re cooking it’s a physical process and not cerebral. It gives your brain a break.
9. JOHN PRITCHARD, PALA SUNGLASSES
For me it is going out: climbing, cycling or paddle-boarding. It gets you out and breaks you up from the mental side of the work. It’s essential.