What a Difference a Year Makes
What a difference a year makes. At the time of writing the summary article as we closed 2019 for the 2020 Yearbook I had no idea just how more timely and relevant to the year ahead that article would be. It was Five Ways to Wellbeing, giving hints and tips for the NFDC Members and their people on how we can manage ourselves to be more resilient to life’s physical and emotional challenges.
We knew back then that our industry and in fact our Nation had taken a turn for the worst with our overall mental health.
Perhaps there were many reasons for that as we had seen a few years with political uncertainty and increasing social divides here in the UK. We were not alone, you only have to look at any media stream to see the unrest globally and that collective anxiety was manifesting itself and coming to the fore for many.
Now of course I do not need, or want, to make anyone re-live the early parts of 2020 and the months that subsequently followed but I would like to recap on what your NFDC asked me to write in ongoing support of the wider Wellbeing agenda and that of the Building Mental Health Charter.
We have covered a lot of ground and looking back my only hope is that you have found our contribution useful and that your NFDC continues to support and promote the wellbeing of the people in this incredible sector.
So I started to think about our words, what have I been able to contribute throughout this time and how these written words have become even more important in 2020 where we have missed out on our time together at the NFDC events or in the classroom at the NDTG.
Words that harm and words that heal
Words have power. As leaders, colleagues and friends we have the power to change someone’s day for the better. Do your people know that it’s ok not to be ok?
We have all learned a few new words or perhaps old words with new meanings recently too. What did Lockdown mean to you prior to 2020? Possibly not a lot, maybe lockdown a price for some works or lockdown a site or building for security? Little did we know that it was about to be applied to us. In fact just a few days ago Collins dictionary announced ‘Lockdown’ as their 2020 word of the year!
So with all that being said are we purposefully pursuing positive communication? Can we all use our words add a little encouragement? Are we sharing so those Five Ways to Wellbeing can really make a difference? Below we have summarised the Five ways again and little reminders of where more information can be found.
Five Ways to Wellbeing
With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day. This connection doesn’t have to be face to face – see article ‘Keeping Calm Among the Chaos’ Publications March 2020
Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of fitness. Not always possible? That’s ok just be kind to yourself and perhaps recap on ‘The Benefits of Breaks’ Publications April 2020
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you. Literally count your blessings! For a detailed look at how, see article ‘Certainly Uncertain’ D&D issue 1 April 2020
Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you. See NFDC’s ‘Introducing Mental Health Awareness Week’ for tips on being kind to yourself and others Publications May 2020
Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun. You can do this at the NFDC, see ‘Building Mental Health through the NFDC’ D&D issue 2 July 2020
NFDC’s commitment to the wellbeing of demolition people is unfaltering and you will continue to see significant activity in this area. It is imperative that the workforce know where to go and what to do when they feel they need some help.
The Lighthouse Construction Industry Helpline is available to all and your NFDC benevolent fund continues to support our people who make contact with this service.
In addition to your Mental Health First Aid Kit sent to all members a few short months ago watch out for the new Mental Health and Wellbeing hub where you can find even more useful information, tools and techniques to improve Wellbeing in your workplaces.
Let’s not forget that you, you the person reading this, you the leader, you the employee, you the associate, you may need a little support too.
The truth is we don’t know how long this will last, what the after effects will ultimately be but we do know that we exist in an NFDC community of people and businesses that care.
I for one am carrying hope into the New Year, the NFDC’s 80th year that the twenties can roar once more.
Vector Equilibrium Ltd