Mindfulness Month at Snowplow
At the start of the year our VP Sales, Abhirukt Sapru, decided he wanted to get his team to focus a little more on their physical and mental wellbeing. He put together a four week plan and included activities such as: calling a relative, waking up early and cooking a big breakfast, having a standing desk day and taking part in a group meditation.
Now, I may not be a part of the Sales team, but a big part of my role is to make sure everybody at Snowplow is motivated, engaged and excited to come to work each day. I just knew that I had to jump on board with the Mindfulness Month that Abhirukt had introduced. I got together with the rest of the Ops team and we discussed what we thought would work best for us. Our four week plan looked like this:
- Week 1: A one hour walk a day
- Week 2: Morning pages: write down 3 things we’re grateful for each morning
- Week 3: Daily introspection and one meditation
- Week 4: Daily intention setting
Every week we’d catch up and talk about how we each got on with the tasks and this would motivate us to continue. I also encouraged all of the other teams at Snowplow to get together and think about what they wanted to do.
During week 1, I found walking for an hour a day pretty easy. Whether it was a 1-hour round trip to “Big Sainsbury’s” or a long walk down by the canal, I realised I was looking for any excuse to leave the house, stretch my legs and get some fresh air.
For week 2, 3 and 4, all I really needed to do was write down my thoughts. As somebody who has always blogged and journaled throughout their life, this came naturally to me. I wrote my thoughts down on post-it notes and stuck them on an A3 sheet of paper. Not only did it brighten up my desk, it was also quite nice to read back over throughout the month.
Here’s my masterpiece (or at least a tidier version of it):
Every other Friday we send out a short 5 question survey to everybody in the company; we call it TGIF (Teams give it Five). The survey is splint into the following themes: enablement, motivation, manager support, well being and work relationships. Over the month of February, we have noticed a rise in scores for team motivation (3.7%). But we’re not stopping there! We’re giving every Snowplower the day off on 12th March to spend doing something that makes them feel good. What will I do? I will probably take a really long walk with someone I care about, pour myself a big glass of wine and start the weekend the right way!
As somebody who is looking after their mental illness as well as their mental health (everyone has mental health, not everyone has mental illness), I really felt connected with this month. It felt great to proactively look after my mental and physical wellbeing and to apply a bit of pressure to actually complete everything on our Mindfulness Month schedule.
We’ve created a #wellness Slack channel. Here are some tips that we’ve been sharing on that channel to ensure we have the healthiest work life:
- Close your browser tabs! Tabs create noise and fewer tabs means fewer distractions.
- Block out time to take a walk in the afternoon. If you don’t have time, turn your calls/ meetings into walking calls. These days we seem to forget that our phones actually have a calling feature.
- Take time off. We’ve all been given annual leave but we’re all optimistically waiting to use it for travel. Take a random Wednesday off to do nothing but relax.
- Have social meetings. We use a Slack app called Donut, which pairs people up for casual chats. One rule: don’t discuss work!
What ways do you ensure you stay mentally and physically healthy at work?