How are you?
It’s all well being vocal about it.
Be mindful that what matters, is truly… being kind.
If we were to meet today in person (i.e. not via the medium of this web page), how likely is it that we would be really interested in each other’s wellbeing? Even if we knew each other rather well? Be honest?
Let’s face it, we’re British. Any variation of the, “how do you do?” greeting has never really been about sincere enquiry. I’m a northern lad and my greeting is commonly a nod and a friendly, “Ow do!”.
I’d likely be as taken aback as the next person if you answered with an account of your niggling sciatica or a tale of your vitamin B deficiency linked insomnia. No. We are expected and expect a similarly fleeting, perfunctory return acknowledgement cum salutation. So – let’s try something a bit different…
How are you?
Really – how are you?
Fine? Not bad? Good?
That’s the next problem isn’t it? Chances are (back to our imaginary chance in-person meeting) I’m now quite relieved you haven’t given me anything tricky to deal with – and you’re possibly not even remotely close to wanting to share details of the anxiety that kept you staring at the ceiling last night, or the worries about your partner’s recent poor health, or any of the multitude of things that might just mean that today you’re not going to be the best version of you.
No one is immune to the stresses and anxieties of life. 1 in 4 people experience some kind of mental health problem each year. 4 in 5 suicides are male. 70 million working days are lost in Britain each year due to mental ill health. Anxiety and depression is the most common mental health problem.
This post isn’t here to offer any solutions to this human shortfall many of us (not all, of course) suffer. Not at all – that’s, in all honesty, very far outside my own personal wheelhouse. I just want to talk about it. That’s all.
We are in peculiar times. And we’ve had just about a year of them now. The things everyone has had to deal with in the last 12 months have been extraordinary and unpredictable. Whilst I positively believe the end is now in sight, it’s not enough to just keep putting the shoulder to the wheel and marching forwards.
We need to take time out and consider what we’ve been through and how we are coping. The storm forecast might be looking promising, but the waters are still very uncomfortable and they remain very dangerous.
And, yes, of course, we may be in the same storm, but we are not all of us in the same boat.
So, my point is, we have 2 very important things to consider.
If we like, and if we can be so noble, 2 very important responsibilities: to consider the wellbeing of ourselves and the wellbeing of others.
We need to look after ourselves and we need to look after one another.
At Magnum we are taking steps to equip our managers with better skills and insight in how to better look after colleagues and team members. The challenges of the situation affect us all and when we are going through difficult times it can be hard to think of others – but it’s vital that we do.
And we are not alone. It is clear that this important issue is being tackled across the board in many UK businesses. It is time for the stigma of mental health to be eradicated and for wellbeing – physical, financial, social and mental – to be recognised holistically; in the context of Covid-19 and wider challenges too. As a workforce for UK Plc perhaps this is a breakthrough that will begin the benefits for generations to come.
So in this spirit, with this positive outlook, please, where you can, however you can, whenever you can, use your compassion and kindness and let’s help each other through today, tomorrow and the weeks and months to come.
Ask for help when you need it too.
Together we are stronger and together we are smarter – every day!
Stuart Convery, Managing Director