Month: May 2021

Growing your mental health

by Lauren Wildman |

After what has been a long and challenging year for most, in and out of various lockdowns- and rules on what we can and cannot do changing as frequently as we change our clothes, many of us have come to realise how important our mental health is, and just how easily it can be affected. Personally, I’ve found myself feeling angry and frustrated, mostly at not being able to see friends and family. Over the last year I’ve cried more than I ever have in my life, and having a physical shoulder of a friend to cry on has created its own strains on my emotions. Our mental health impacts so many aspects of our lives, including our workplaces, relationships and self-esteem. With Mental Health Awareness Week taking place last week, I’ve had time to reflect on what the past year has taught us about our mental health, and how we can support ourselves and those around us.

Speaking out has been a key take-away for me this year. Last March, my final year of university came to an abrupt end with the onset of Lockdown 1.0. The dream summer working abroad in America, having a beautiful graduation with my peers and moving out of my parents place all crumbled before my eyes. Feeling a mixture of anger and numbness that I’d never felt before, I kept this inside, pushing it down as much as possible before it began to affect day-to-day life. I eventually found the courage to speak to my GP, who put me in touch with Talking Therapies. Once I had reached out for help, I felt so much better. My continued efforts with Talking Therapies began to pay off, opening up to those around me and discovering I was not alone in struggling with my mental health.

Nature was the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and it’s understandable why. During the long months of lockdown, along with millions of others, I turned to nature as a way to cope with the mundanity of lockdown life. From sitting in the garden soaking in the sun, to escaping on walks and visiting parks and nature reserves I had never previously had time for. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to explore the green spaces around me. Ensuring I continue to make time to spend outside in one way or another is something I am keen to carry through to the next (hopefully less eventful) year.

Bringing nature inside has also had a huge impact on my mental wellbeing. Having never been green fingered- or someone who has felt at one with nature, I was extremely skeptical when I was gifted an orchid as a  housewarming present -unsure if I would be able to keep it alive. Six months later and my orchid is still going strong and is now accompanied by another orchid, a snake plant, a monkey mask monstera and a variety of succulents, and the windowsill now resembles nothing so much as a greenhouse. Plants have been proven to reduce stress, and to boost concentration and memory, all vital aspects for good mental health. Here at Makara Health, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week we were gifted seeds and a plant pot for our desk spaces- and I’m looking forward to watching my seedlings grow, making my desk become a little greener.

I hope that this Mental Health Awareness Week has made you reflect on the last year, the lessons you’ve learnt about your own mental wellbeing, and the resilience we’ve all gained from the ups and downs of the pandemic.

To learn more about Talking Therapies please visit

What inspires you?

by Louise Sharp |

It is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and I have stopped for a few minutes to think about what good mental health means to me. This little blog is too short to list the many things it could mean, and the many times we sacrifice our own well-being because something seems more important. But, I found myself asking, what inspires me? When do I feel in that happy place where my mind feels free, when I see opportunity, when curiosity overcomes the to do list, when I give myself permission to be me? Only this morning I was walking in my garden with the dogs marvelling at how alive the garden felt, seeing the leaves come out in the trees and the budding flowers, hearing the bird song, and feeling the dewy grass underfoot. It felt good to be outdoors and connect with nature and that always resets me mentally.

We all know the benefits of good mental health and the importance of raising awareness to help colleagues and friends who may be struggling. 

This Mental Health Awareness Week @MakaraHealth is #ConnectingwithNature and bringing the outside in. We are creating a little haven in our offices planting seeds in our Makara growing pots, and we will share our successes as we see the seeds flourish over the coming months. We will also be focusing on getting ourselves outdoors and giving ourselves permission to focus on our own personal well-being.

It has been a year like no other and personal resilience and growth are such an important human need. Alongside our Makara seeds, we have the lovely Carole Leybourne running a Resilience and Yoga workshop this week for many of the team, providing time to learn something new and explore ways to maintain a level of calm and to build our resilience.

#wellbeingmatters, #healthcarecomms, #mentalhealthawarenessweek, #connectingwithnature