With it being mental health awareness week, we thought we’d speak a little about our own experiences and the things we build into our lives to help keep ourselves in a positive mind space. As we are not experts, we did not want to focus on any specifics or give potentially misleading information. There are a lot of resources online if you do need further support, as well as speaking to your GP or even friends and family.

Like almost everyone in this fast paced, highly pressurised modern world, mental health has at times had an impact on our lives. Being a family business brings many unique challenges as well as a lot of perks and it is so important that we are able to support each other through those and take some responsibility for keeping both our home and business a healthy space. As parents to two young boys, this has taken on a new level of importance as we are very aware that the environment they grow up in and their childhood experiences will have a long term impact on their wellbeing.

We have noticed that for our children, the longer they spend watching TV the worse their mood becomes and the more reluctant they are to start a new activity. On this basis what works for us is restricting screen time to a degree. But like everything, it’s about finding what works for you and your family, everyone’s parenting challenges are unique. We also reflect these restrictions in some ways in our own lives. We try not to go on our phones after 5pm, and have both deleted the Facebook application from them completely. This helps prevent us doing as much relentless scrolling. It also gives us all more opportunity to spend quality time together and focus on what is important to us.

We also put a lot of focus on spending time outside. Living in the beautiful Lake District, who wouldn’t?! Much like our boys, we find exercising in the fresh air boosts our mood as well as helping us sleep better. Having Bryn (our office dog) really helps with this. He needs his regular walks whatever the weather, so we can’t hide inside for too long at one time!

Mental health awareness week is a brilliant reminder to check in on our family and friends, even the ones who are always smiling. But please also remember to look after YOU on a daily basis, physically and mentally. As we mentioned at the start, this is only what works for us. It will be different for everyone, and the secret is finding what works for you and your family.

Article by Fiona Marsden