When lockdown first began, we spoke to Livitay founders, Jack Needham and James Naylor about ways to protect your mental and physical health in a crisis. We caught up with them over Mental Health Awareness Week to discuss their new app.
Can you tell us a bit about what Livitay has been working on over the last few months?
In a time when mental and physical health matters more than ever, we wanted to help companies to take care of the wellbeing of their employees. As people moved into isolation and lockdown, we wanted to make sure that every team, no matter where they are in the world, had access to the resources they need to stay happy. So we spoke to our customers and came up with the Livitay app. Individuals can check in on how they are felling, learn more about their mental health, and practice exercises the improve how they feel.
What does mental health awareness week mean to you?
We all have mental health. MHA week shows a step in the right direction bringing mental health to the forefront of everyone’s minds. However, there is still a stigma around speaking openly about your mental health and our job will be done when every week is MHA week.
How important do you think it is to recognise MHA week at the moment?
One of the biggest parts of normalising the conversation about mental health is giving those around you permission to speak about it. I think it is vital for companies to recognise MHA week as it gives their teams and employees the opportunity to recognise that, like everyone, they have mental health and need to speak about it.
What changes have you made personally to your routine since the start of lockdown to manage your mental health?
For me, I have made sure that I prioritise my wellbeing so I exercise regularly and I have scheduled frequent catch-ups with friends. I often hear people say that they don’t exercise or take care of their mental health because they “don’t have time” but I think it is really a matter of priorities. For me, I know I work better and I am nicer to be around if I take care of myself and so I find time in my routine to do so. Importantly, this time is blocked out in my diary and is the same time each day so no meetings or other things can be added over it.
What advice would you give to people who are still looking for ways to manage their wellbeing?
Unfortunately, I have no special remedy for everyone here. Like lots of people will say, there is no one size fits all when it comes to wellbeing. I would recommend trying as much as you can but not being hard on yourself if what you have tried doesn’t work. If you are new to exercise, just try walking or new to mindfulness, try meditating once a week. The key is to break down what seems like a big goal into small digestible steps. If you’re going to try and run five times a week from not doing anything at all, it seems like quite a large jump. So start small and take each day as it comes. First, put out the trainers and clothes you are going to wear for the next day and block out the time in your diary. Then get out there and do as much or as little as you can, it’s an achievement just to start.
What habits have you adopted during this time and which ones will you continue with in the future?
For me, having lost a loved one to COVID-19, I have created more time to be grateful for what I have. I have a gratitude journal in which I write down each week, parts of my life that I am grateful for. As a result, I have become more mindful of how fortunate I am and how incredible the little things in life are.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Livitay app or think it’s a good fit for your company – get in touch with Jack here.
For more advice and discussion around mental health and wellbeing, watch the full video below.