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May 15, 2020
Verity Roach

We’re back for another Round the Table, and the theme this week is ‘How to enhance your wellbeing’. Our partner Lauren Windas, Co-Founder of Ardere and Qualified Nutritionist is hosting this week. It’s wonderful to have Lauren as our host, bringing such expertise and insight in the wellbeing field. After years of suffering with ME, she founded Ardere with her sister, a company that makes you feel content in body, mind and soul. They are the ultimate self-care company, specialising in aromatherapy products, nutritious recipes and wellness advise.Around the table we have Jo Cruickshanks; Founder of the Breathery, Simon Akers, Founder of Archmon and Tatei Montejo, Founder of Tatei Montejo coaching. I’m very excited to have our Juno friends joining us this morning as each person has their own story and journey when it comes to wellbeing and I know we are in for a treat.

‘How are you all feeling at the moment?’ The dreading question that is asked and we, as a society, so often robotically respond ‘fine, you?’ But not this time, the table are open and honest and it’s wonderfully refreshing. Simon gets the conversation started ‘let’s be frank, there are good days and bad days. I won’t pretend every day is okay.’ ‘I’m okay and working from home is ok, but I’m really missing human interaction. I’m struggling to find motivation to be structured with work without having the other social side of life.’ Tatei continues and I’m really struck by this point. Here at Juno we talk a lot about redefining what wellbeing means, and the social side of our mental health is an area not usually focused on, yet now more than ever it is being hugely affected. So what are we doing to help ourselves?

Jo discusses her approach to keeping a strong sense of well-being, ‘when I see myself going into a particular state I need to pause. I’ll either do a dynamic breath work that I teach or just simply slow down my nervous system, making sure I’m breathing through my nose and breathing down into my belly as much as possible.’ For Simon, it’s about switching his mindset; ‘I’m reading a lot of stoic philosophy about what you can and can’t control. I really believe in the fact that - whilst it is inherently terrible what is going on - wallowing in it will not help. I’ve found getting out of your own head and controlling your input is so important.’

We keep on this theme for a while, discussing how controlling your thought process and mindset is vitally important. For Lauren, it’s an area she focuses on day to day, ‘I talk to my clients a lot about stresses. We have micro stress and macro stresses. Macro stresses would be things like Corona - there is nothing we can do to influence it. But there are micro stresses which we can influence. These are in our day to day and we can actively influence these. For example, how much news we consume.’

The table are clear about one thing though, it isn’t as easy to just ‘switch your mindset’. Tatei talks candidly ‘I do feel like my mental health has been impacted, and it’s the lack of control for me that can really send me spiralling. I can feel super happy and super grateful then wake up the next day and I’m just not! Am anxious, stressed and worried - you can feel all of them and really not be able to control it.’

Creativity and gratitude become a big talking points moving forward, with Jo discussing the need for such emotions, ‘I’m trying to be more creative with my routine. Right now I’m sitting on the floor. It’s better for my posture but it’s enabling me to move around and be more creative. I might do a bit of work over here, but then go and play with my kids on the trampoline. I can’t control what’s going on, so I just go with the flow and let go! Stress will not let creativity flow.’ Lauren goes on to discuss how these emotions help her, ‘gratitude is such a key pillar for all of us. It’s so important that we sit back and think about what we are grateful for. You’ve got to get your nervous system into a state of balance so you intrinsically feel it throughout your body.’

As each person continues to give their advise and wisdom on what is helping balance their wellbeing, something becomes very clear. Whilst everyone around the table, me included, feels a degree of an emotional and mental challenge right now, we are all in it together and that is incredibly powerful. Lauren concludes the episode, ‘there is a comfort and unity in the fact we all feel quite similar even though it isn’t a great feeling, it is nice to know we are not alone in this.’ Lauren couldn’t be more right, as a society we have to lean on each other, lean on neighbours, friends and family and help each other get through this time. But don’t forget to lean virtually...for now anyway!