So much of modern life runs at light-speed, filled with sounds and images that drive us to comply with society’s expectations of how or who we should be.
Business leaders experience this on a daily basis. As well as the noise telling us to be smarter, faster or more confident, there’s the simple (but dangerous) urge to compete. To push ourselves. To burn our energy on success, instead of our happiness.
HSQ Productions are advocates of looking after our mental health as much as the bottom line. Millions of us experience anxiety and depression, without ever taking time out to heal. Does this resonate with you? If so, keep reading, as we digest the pressures of today’s world and how they can be mediated…
There is no stigma – we’ve struggled too
Our founder, Adam Smith, is no stranger to dark days. He’s experienced bouts of anxiety for many years. On multiple occasions, he’s been admitted to A&E for a sudden tightening in his chest – the calling card of a panic attack. Sometimes this is so bad that his entire body seizes up.
“I have no qualms about saying that mental health can seriously bring me down. Most nights, my sleep is threadbare. I’m often deprived of the focus I need; regaining it takes a lot of effort. It may have something to do with my former life as a journalist, when I’ve been privy to intense situations such as people being zipped into body bags, and (of course) the Manchester bombing.”
Like countless sufferers, Adam has recognised his difficulties with mental health, and tries to channel these into doing what he loves to do. There are positive ways to develop coping mechanisms, some of which he’d like to share with you.
Dealing with inner demons
“How do I overcome it? Well, luckily, I throw myself into video assignments with total abandon. We work to an intense 24-hour schedule for the majority of our clients. That necessitates a top-to-bottom plan, with each hour forecast to a T, so there’s no stress whatsoever on the morning of the shoot. It keeps me calm. It says: ‘Look, you have this worked out.’”
“I also visit the gym three or four times a week. Cycling, walking and leaving Manchester at least once a month for Freshwalks have proven invaluable. Street dancing is another fantastic outlet for all of that physical and emotional pressure. Alongside the traditional route of counselling, I find that staying active is good for the soul.”
Some of these strategies may be familiar to you. If not, Adam urges you to try them out; exercise, hobbies and creative planning can channel our thoughts to a more positive place. But above all else, don’t be afraid to admit you’re in pain. HSQ Productions are eager to wipe the slate clean for how and when mental health can be discussed, and how seriously it should be taken.
That’s why we’re delighted to announce that we’re hosting our own Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 from the 8th to 10th January. If you’ve got a story to share, we would love to hear from you. Contact us to start the conversation and join our mission to remove the stigma from mental health once and for all.