Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme is kindness. While our team is working remotely, we wanted to share a few of the things they are getting up to during the lockdown to be kind to themselves (and their families) and prioritise their mental health….there seems to be a few exercising personal bests in there!

Dorian Hinze, CAD Technician, Engineering

“With time to myself a bit of a luxury at the moment (with the kids, cleaning and all the other fun chores!), I have been sketching when I have the time. Having lived in Botswana for most of my life, my passion for nature and animals comes naturally as we were surrounded by it. This sketch was inspired on a memory of a particular safari trip back in the day in the Kalahari game reserve back in Botswana.”

Alexander Nelson, Graduate Engineer, Infrastructure Planning

“Before lockdown I would try my best to cycle to work at three days a week (on a good week)  – which would be 120 miles a week altogether. While great for fitness I also wanted to consciously reduce my car use. I’m part of the Infrastructure Planning team, and half of what we do revolves around the promotion of sustainable travel, so I wanted to lead by example so clients and the Councils are aware that we actually experience first hand the choices we are promoting. During the lockdown I’m only doing 10 miles a day as opposed to 40, to ensure I’m not too far from home.

Other than that, I have been scheduling daily Microsoft Teams meeting video chats with the rest of the Infrastructure team, just to help break up the day and talk about anything that isn’t related to work and, as much as possible, not related to lockdown. We have been sharing a few photos of food recipes that we have tried out for the first time!”

Marta Brzezinska, Associate Director, Architecture & Urban Design

“I’ve been setting myself a few fitness goals to push myself to do regular exercises at the moment. I either get out of the house and do a 5km run – and have just got a ‘personal best’ so it’s definitely paying off –  or am outside in the garden doing a home workout. I’ve managed to rope my daughters in as well! I’m also doing more gardening – which is very relaxing – and teaching the kids how to cook! This has proved very handy when I am running out of time at the end of the day! 😊”

Russell Gray, Director, Planning

“I tend to do a 10 mile ride a couple of evenings a week as it’s great to get out in the fresh air and take in the north Bedfordshire countryside after a day cooped up in the study at home. Most weekends I go out both days for a longer 20-25 mile ride during the day. I love the sense of freedom you get being out on the country roads where I live – even more so with the roads being as quiet as they are now – and also being slightly competitive, trying to beat my personal records on Strava of course! I did the London – MK with some of the guys from work a few years ago, but I definitely got the bug for road cycling properly while training for the London – Brighton charity ride last year.”