After a challenging 12 months, we decided to start 2021 with the goal of walking, running or cycling the 3,200-mile distance from Nottingham to Boston, Massachusetts - the home of our new North America Practice division, in aid of the mental health charity: Mind.
Mind provide crucial resources, information and support to those who are struggling with their mental health, and with the arrival of Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, mental health has been under more pressure every day.
The service that Mind provide is absolutely critical. In 2019-20, their information was accessed over 18 million times, and they responded to 119,000 people seeking information and support from their helpline. At Distinct, we really wanted to highlight such an important charity, we’re also aiming to raise a minimum total of £750.00.
8 weeks into our challenge, we now have less than 500 miles left to go.
As we enter the home stretch of our challenge, a few of us at Distinct have shared our motivations for supporting Mind as well as some recommendations that helped us to feel healthy and happy, or even just helped to occupy the time during lockdown.
"I’ve always enjoyed walking, and it has become even more important to me over the last 12 months - in fact it’s one of the reasons I got a dog!
It’s the way I see my friends, clear my head after a busy day at work (in my dining room!) and my main source of exercise to work off all the biscuits I’ve been baking! I jumped at the chance to incorporate this in to supporting Mind." - Selena
"Mind for me is such an important charity as I’ve had people close to me suffer terribly with mental illness and then seen the suffering in the aftermath when those people have sadly chosen to no longer be here. Lockdown for a lot of people has meant less contact and more of a chance to hide away, so it’s really important to raise awareness that its ok not to be ok, and that often a lot of people will be feeling the same.
You just need the confidence to talk and reach out." - Imo
"I myself have suffered from anxiety, postnatal depression and panic attacks in the past, and through it all, running has been my go-to cure for both body and mind…. I may not be the fastest on the road, but that sense of freedom, especially running by the river with some serious banging tunes on really eases my mind, it doesn’t matter how tough it is, you never ever regret a run!
I hope by running, or should I say jogging these miles, I can help others too!" - Charl
"For me personally, Mind is quite close to my heart. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember, so I have found the last year pretty hard, this last lockdown especially so. Which means that thousands of other people have too.
I’m a social person and not being able to see friends and family has been difficult. On top of that, all my hobbies have gone out the window: gym, climbing, swimming, skating (not ideal to do outdoors in the winter) so in order to not lose my mind it has been so important to get outdoors and go for a run/ walk to keep some sort of routine." - Bex
"I wanted to do it to get myself out of the house more and get out in the outdoors!
I felt Mind is a great charity as there are more and more people struggling with mental wellness, and I think it’s great that people are sharing their struggles in life to help others. It is a great charity and close to home as a couple of family members struggle with mental health." - Michelle
"The reason I decided to get involved is because, first of all, it’s for a great charity.
I really feel that our mental health should be something we are all looking after, not only during this pandemic but at all times, and I think the pandemic this time has helped us focus on that, which is so good to hear." - Holly
"On a much brighter note, lockdown encouraged me to get out the house and take a bit more time for me. I’ve recently started listening to “The High Performance Podcast” which is truly inspiring and pushes me to keep doing better!" - Imo
"I think looking after my plants, reading, listening to podcasts (I recommend ‘How to fail’ with Elizabeth Day) and running has kept me sane." - Bex
"Things that have kept me going in lockdown have been extra learning / reading to challenge my brain and a regular workout routine, focusing on healthy eating, picking up new shows on Netflix I never usually have time to watch, and Instagram posts that I don’t get time to do. Making a schedule and keeping myself busy have also been good." - Michelle
"Getting outside and walking has certainly helped me keep positive throughout everything and whilst I’ve always been keen to get outside into the fresh air, doing the Miles for Mind has enabled me to find a new love with podcasts, something I never really listened to before whilst walking, but I love it now!" - Holly
If anything positive can be gained from the recent year’s events, maybe it can serve as a reminder of the importance of mental wellbeing and self-care, reaching out to those around us and speaking openly about the times when we need a little extra help. If you or someone that you know could use some support, you can find information on the services that Mind provide on their website.
So far, we’ve reached £200 of our £750 target. If you would also like to show your support, you can visit our Justgiving page. This isn’t the first time we’ve set out to contribute to a charity (check out our CSR page), and our #milesformind campaign is simply the first of many this year. We’ll keep you posted!
Also, a big thank you to Selena, Imo, Charl, Bex, Michelle, and Holly for sharing their insights.
Thanks for reading!