Here at Percent Pledge, we like to practice what we preach. Coming off of our April Earth Month challenge to improve our carbon footprint, for the month of May we are encouraging self-care and empowering employees to take little steps toward improving their own mental health. Following National Alliance on Mental Illness's (NAMI) 2023 theme, “Showing up, just as you are, for yourself and the people around you is more than enough.”
In week one, we gave a brief overview of Mental Health Awareness Month during our first all-staff meeting of the month. The main objective was to bring attention to the issue of mental health and raise awareness, working toward eliminating the stigma around it. Employees were encouraged to take care of themselves, check in on loved ones, and talk about mental health. After the meeting, a self-care checklist was shared with employees so they could evaluate themselves, and be mindful of areas and things they could do to improve their own self-care.
Week two started with a short lead meditation session on mindfulness and being grateful. Percent Pledge offers each employee a free account through Headspace for work. Employees were reminded of this benefit and encouraged to take advantage of the meditations, focus playlist, and more.
Week three was focused on spending time outdoors. Luckily the weather was mostly cooperative and we were able to attend some meetings while enjoying the sunshine from a table in a backyard or while taking the dog for a walk. The benefits of being outside were shared:
There are many mental wellness benefits associated with being outside in green spaces, such as a lower risk of depression and faster psychological stress recovery. Studies have shown that being in nature can restore and strengthen our mental capacities, increasing focus and attention.U.S. Department of Agriculture
Throughout the month we implemented a mid-week pick-me-up. Every Wednesday, positive affirmations were shared and discussions were held in our culture Slack channel. We were able to share pictures of pets, mood-changing music suggestions, jokes, and uplighting content.
To wrap up the month, the company closed the office on the last Friday in May in celebration of self-care Friday. It was a requirement that all employees log off and take that afternoon to do as they wish, leaving thoughts of work behind: spend extra time with family or friends, read a book, take a nap! Employees then reported back to the team what they did. It was a great way to share, get insight into what different people value, and give everyone time to recharge.
We are now looking forward to what we can do to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community as we head into Pride Month.