What have the Happiful team learned about mental health and wellness over the years?
For today’s final episode of season one of our podcast, Finding What Works, I’m joined by some Happiful colleagues; Chloe Gosiewski, Claire Vince, Wade Montague, and Hannah Ervin.
We chat about what drew them to the industry and the work they do with us at Happiful, we explore what works for them when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, what doesn’t work and any words of wisdom they have for others starting their journey. We cover a range of topics, from grief and burnout to flexible working and social connection, so there is something for everyone here, no matter where you are on your journey.
If you have been tuning in to season one, I want to say thank you so much for listening. We’re taking a short break but will be back for season two next year. Until then, take care.
Listen to the episode here, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Kat: Hello everyone, and welcome to the final episode of season one of Happiful: Finding What Works. Really pleased to have you listening in, and today I'm going to be joined by some of my colleagues at Happiful, and we're going to be discussing what we've learned about mental health and wellbeing since we've worked for the company.
The reason I was really keen to bring everyone together here is because I feel like when you work for a company in the wellness industry, no matter what job you do, you tend to pick up some lessons along the way. I'm really intrigued to hear if this is the case for my colleagues and what those lessons may have been.
So to start with, we're going to do some introductions. I'm going to ask you to tell us a bit more about who you are, the work that you do with Happiful, and also just what drew you to this company and this industry as well. So, Chloe, I'm going to come to you first. Can you introduce yourself?
Chloe: Hello, my name's Chloe Gosiewski and I am the Membership Marketing Executive here. I help our members with their profiles, I help them to market their business so that they can help as many people as possible in the work that they do.
I actually came to the company because I wanted to be a life coach, initially that was what I wanted. I had come back from travelling and I put my intention out to the universe, I was like, right, this is what I want to do. I want to be a coach and I want a job that's going to kind of help me get to that kind of place that I want to be. And two days later, I went on to one of the job sites and there was a job for Happiful and they mentioned the Life Coach Directory and I was like, that's it. This is, this is my sign. And I started working here and as I kind of developed and did my coaching training, and learned a lot about starting a business as a coach, that's how my shift came into marketing because yeah, that, that's where my love of it came from.
Kat: Amazing. What a great training ground as well to learn more about coaching and starting your own business and things like that than Happiful. Fantastic. And Claire, how about yourself?
Claire: Hello. Hi, my name's Claire Vince. I am Head of Operations, now <laugh>. I've had a couple of different roles since I started 15 years ago. At the moment, I am looking after all things HR. I was Head of HR before, so just looking after that function, but now it's sort of expanded to more compliance along with payroll and many other things that come my way day to day. I came to Happiful because I wanted to do something that had a purpose.
My background is in customer service, so I did start within the customer services team. It was just me actually <laugh> many, many years ago. But I wanted to do something and work with people that just made a difference. That is ultimately why I came here. And I think it expanded on that and I was in that team for quite a few years and I just, I do love working with people. I like talking to people and I want to help people, so HR was a natural progression for me. So then I trained in that and then was able to still work in the company that I love helping more people day to day. So yeah, that is really it, <laugh>.
Kat: Amazing, thank you. Yeah, you are probably the longest-standing employee, is that right?
Claire: I think so, yeah.
Kat: Amazing. That's so great to hear. Thank you, Claire. And Wade, yourself. Could we hear a little bit more about you?
Wade: My name's Wade Montague. I am a technology consultant positioned in the engineering team. So, effectively one of the tech guys. I was drawn to Happiful partly from meeting the lovely Claire, alongside meeting Paul at the same time, one of the directors. Largely by the ethos and the desire to do good within the world - the Happiful, Memiah's desire to do good within the world. And partly, running away from other industries that weren't quite as feelgood and positive with their contribution to the world. So, say the advertising industry, which wasn't really adding a lot, it was more taking away I think.
Kat: That's perfect, thank you. That's really interesting to hear about wanting to get away from certain industries and companies and coming to somewhere different. And for anyone listening as well, if you do hear any of us say Memiah, that is another word for Happiful. So it's another company name, it's what it was originally known as. So just in case anyone picks that up, it's all about the same company. It's all Happiful. Perfect. Thank you Wade. And Hannah, yourself.
Hannah: Hello. Yes, I'm Hannah Ervin and, like Chloe, I work on the membership services team. So, interacting daily with all of our members on our directories, taking care of everything they need in terms of their membership and helping them make the most of their profiles. And my background before coming to Happiful was I was in sales. So I started off selling but went on to become a sales trainer and the training element I really, really loved. So, it was always about the connection with people for me and the personal development side.
And then I ended up being made redundant, which was a real shock and something that I had to get my head around. And I took my time and the minute I read the job spec for this one, it was one of those ones where every point I was like, that's me, that's me, that's me. And so yeah, not looked back.
I've been here six and a half years, absolutely love it, love the people, love the work. There's always new things coming up. There's always those additional projects, you know, whether it's going to visit a local sixth form on their mental health and wellbeing day or you know, doing additional things like this or our networking lounges for members. There are just so many things to get involved with. So yeah, that's why it works for me.
Kat: Amazing. Thanks, Hannah. And something else you do on the side of work is Reiki, is that right?
Hannah: Yeah, that's right. Yep, so I've been a Reiki practitioner again for about six years, so similar to the time I started here and also a meditation practitioner as well. So both really helpful in terms of both professional and personal wellbeing.
Kat: Amazing. And I think that's really interesting because, as Chloe was talking about coaching, I know I also have done some coaching work in the past and we've got a couple of other people that also do other things to do with the directories as well. And I think that's such a lovely way for us to come together as we've all got that similar thread of wanting to support others and do something with a bit of a purpose. And that's something I heard in all of your answers with what drew you to this industry and this company is to be doing something where you're giving to something rather than taking away. So that's really interesting, thank you all for sharing.
Kat: So now we're going to dive into a bit more of a conversation about what we've learned since working at Happiful, especially around our mental health and our wellbeing and just anything we've found that has worked for us. So, Chloe, I'm going to come back to you. Could you tell us a little bit more about any lessons that you've picked up since working at Happiful when it comes to looking after your mental health and wellbeing?
Chloe: Of course, I could probably reel off hundreds of stories of situations that I've been in over the years that I've been here and things that I've learned. And I will just talk quickly about something more recent that's impacted me. I was asked by the Happiful team to present a video for World Mental Health Day and it was about employee wellbeing and I was reading through the speaker's notes and I was really shocked because I know that I'd been feeling really under pressure recently.
There was so much going on, but it wasn't just work, it was my home life. There was just so much going on and, as I was reading through the points about burnout, I was looking and I was like, this is me. This is, I am actually, I've reached it. And because the thing with burnout is it gets to the point where you don't actually know where it's coming from, that just everything, your whole life is just kind of, it feels like you can't really get a grip on it.
And it's almost like, well, for me, it felt like it was just kind of constant chaos and just sort of like battling every day to try and do something productive even though I'm doing a lot. And so for me, just having that information as somebody who works here and reading that information that we were providing to others helped me to see that actually I was experiencing that and what I needed to do.
Luckily for me, I was actually due to go on holiday a week after <laugh> I read through those notes. And I just really took that time to say, you know what, when I go away, I'm completely cutting off from everything back home. I'm just gonna kind of do what I want to do in that moment. Relax as much as I can if I want to say no, which is a big thing, saying no for me, learning about that, if you're a yes person, try to say no <laugh>.
And so that's something that I've learned recently and that is the information that we are providing to other people and actually, I've benefited from it myself even though I'm part of that giving process. So I think we're incredibly lucky to be around other people that are able, that feel, they want to share their stories about how they're coping and what is out there. And I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of that. So this conversation today, I hope that people do hear it and do know that actually there are different things out there for you to try to help with that.
Kat: Thank you so much for sharing that, Chloe. That's so true. It's having that awareness and being in this industry, I guess we are just more open to it. We see it more, it comes up, especially I know for me and my team when we are writing and creating content around it, we have to research it to understand it.
But then, for everyone else, we try and send out resources and things like that just so that you can be more aware. But it doesn't mean, as you said that you are immune to it. It doesn't mean that just because you know about these things that you're not going to ever get burnt out. As you said, it can really creep up on us and it's about acknowledging it and recognising what you need to do off the back of that and feeling a bit more confident in taking those actions, which I think comes with self-awareness. So yeah, thank you so much Chloe for sharing that and I'm glad you were able to get that break as well afterwards. What great timing for that holiday <laugh>.
Okay Claire, how about yourself? Can you tell us anything about what you've learned in terms of wellbeing and mental health since you've been with us at Happiful?
Claire: This is a real tough question because I've grown with the company, I've been here for such a long time. We have all grown, our sites have grown, all of our products have grown. Our understanding of mental health has grown vastly because the landscape has changed. What I've learned is to talk to other people and make connections. And we are really lucky here that we have an environment, because of what we do, but I think even if we did something else, we would still always talk about what's going on and it is sharing.
So, very similar to what Chloe just said, very similar. We are surrounded by the content and we're very lucky about that, I think. We know a lot, but sometimes, not that we know too much, but you don't necessarily see it in yourself until suddenly ah, light bulb moment.
And, I think that's what is obviously really nice that we have got so much information around us on a daily basis. We are fortunate enough to have that and we do then find it and read it and understand it and make a connection with it. Even though it's our work, we can still step back from it and feel what we need to feel. But we have conversations with our colleagues quite open conversations really, and that is what I love and I wish more people would do that.
When I hear some people sort of like, "Oh no, I wouldn't bring that up." And you just think, oh, I wish you were in a workplace where you felt comfortable to, because we spend most of our time generally with our colleagues and at work. That's where you're going to do most of your thinking and where things can come to the surface I think. So it's nice to be in a position where we accept it, talk about it, try and help each other because that's what we do. Like, why would we not help each other if that's what our mission is - to help people? We are people as well. So the answer to your question, I think I've answered it, hopefully, but, yeah, I think take your time and read and absorb and look at all the options that are out there for whatever it's that you might be needing. Yeah, it's vast <laugh>.
Kat: Thanks, Claire. Yeah, I think what you said there about communicating and connecting is so important, especially in the workplace because as you said, we spend so much of our time at work. And everyone always says like bring your whole selves to work, but that means bringing your baggage with you as well and bringing your lower days and your not a hundred per cent days and being able to be open with your colleagues about it is such an incredible thing.
And that is something I hugely am grateful for when it comes to the work at Happiful. I do honestly feel so happy to tell someone like, I'm struggling today, I need a bit of time or I need some support with this. You know, just this morning I was asking my team to support with this podcast today, like can somebody help me with some bits I need to do later on for it today? And just knowing that I have that support in place is amazing and just having that connection and community to be able to do that is an amazing lesson to have learned. So, thank you, Claire. And as you said, I wish more companies felt that way and I think people are getting better.
Out of interest, do you have any thoughts on what companies could do to help create a bit more of a culture of openness? Just coming from your HR side, I just wondered if you have any thoughts on that?
Claire: I think it would start with people in a position that have a voice that's heard to make it safe and just to lead on. Even if they just give an example just to be a little bit more open, just to make it acceptable to have those sorts of conversations. And to normalise problems or issues that you might be having and like, "Oh this, this could be something that we could look at together" if it's something about work. But also just listen. Listening is the key, for me. People should listen more and just pick up on things and try and help people that way. But I think as long as people make it safe to have conversations, that's a good starting point.
Kat: Definitely. And you've reminded me actually when our directors, so two sisters that started the company, I remember when they were really open with all of us about what prompted them to start the company. And when we heard that it was like, oh, okay, we could really understand where it came from. And it helped everyone.
Claire: God, I remember that day.
Kat: Yeah, I remember that day. And we all felt so safe after that. Like, oh, okay, so we can talk about this as well. And Wade, yeah, I'd love to hear from you on this as well. Anything that you feel like you have learned since working at Happiful, or just in general, about your mental health and wellbeing?
Wade: Yeah, sure. Just to touch on a couple of the points that were made there. I have to admit, I'm not exposed massively to the Happiful content and don't regularly consume it. However, there's a wealth of materials that go out in terms of training and mental health wellbeing, which really are helpful and the fact that they are such engaging pieces. One recently, men's mental health, and World Mental Health Day, they actually inspire people who wouldn't normally talk about things to start talking about things, to start addressing some issues. And you know, maybe it's not a fully open conversation, but it's a way in to start having those conversations. So, very recently there's been some excellent conversations that have come out of the back of that, that just normally wouldn't happen. People wouldn't necessarily engage with some of those topics and it really helped to sort of lift the lid on it and open people up to that sort of thing.
Myself, personally, being a contractor, having the flexibility and choice to do things at my own pace on my own schedule is something that's been really helpful to myself and my business partner. That is one of the things that the guys at Happiful were very flexible with when we arrived and started working with them. And we've been with them now for four years, maybe five years - it's been a minute. And that has been maintained for the whole time as well. And it's clear across other teams that they are flexible with those kinds of things. So, for me, exercise is a big part of my mental health and the fact that I can shift things around and make space for that throughout my week rather than having to cram it in at the weekend, which is obviously time I'd like to relax, has been massively helpful.
Kat: Brilliant, thank you, Wade. And yeah, I love what you said there about just starting those conversations and just opening the door a little bit to those who might not normally consume all the content we put out there and things like that, and just starting to get people a little bit more aware of some of the issues that we talk about. And also the flexible working. That's something that has changed in Happiful, it's relatively new. It's something we've kind of become more open about in recent years. Obviously, since Covid we have become a hybrid office as well - so some of us work from home, some of us go into the office. And having that choice, I know for me that's something that's really helped my mental health is knowing that I can go into the office when I want to speak and chat to people and also I can work at home when I need to have a day of editing or writing or something like that. And having that flexibility is hugely important to me as well. So totally understand that. Brilliant.
So, Hannah, I'd love to come to you next. Any ideas or thoughts on what supports your mental health and what you've learned since you've been here at Happiful?
Hannah: Yeah, so, yeah I was giving this a lot of thought and I think one of the key things for me, particularly since working here, because I think I'd already started on a kind of development journey anyway before I came here. But one of the most important things is knowing that it's okay to allocate time for yourself. And I think that's equally important, whether it's in your personal life or whether it's professionally. And also the importance of doing that gives other people the permission to do it. Because I think, you know, we all just push ourselves so hard and I think even if it's something that you absolutely love doing, you can still burn yourself out on that thing. So you always, always need some time to yourself.
And I think in the professional environment, that's something that we are really conscious of, particularly on our team where our day runs at a thousand miles an hour and, you know, we've got a really high mixture of work that we are doing on any given day, whether it's incoming calls, outgoing calls <laugh> plus everything else that we are doing. And one of the things that we really make a conscious effort to do is make sure the simple things like that people take their breaks and when somebody takes their break, we acknowledge that and we encourage them to do it and we kind of thank them for doing it. And again, I think that's because it gives everybody the opportunity to know that they can do it.
Kat: I think that is especially important. It's important for any team, but I know for your team especially, you have to deal with some quite difficult calls sometimes and you have to deal with some quite difficult things and moments and being able to debrief and recover after that must be really important, right?
Hannah: Yeah, totally. And actually, us having constant contact with each other as well. So even if we're working remotely, there is always somebody in that exact moment that you can reach out to on the team and you know, or you reach out to the team, somebody will jump straight in. And yes, you are right. Sometimes that debrief is just as important as coming away and stepping away and having somebody actually tell you, look, go take five minutes and then come back. You know, that's, that's really special.
Kat: Great. Thank you so much for sharing that, Hannah. Now, this podcast is called Finding What Works. So obviously we are keen to learn more about that and we just have, but we are also really interested to hear more about what doesn't work for people because I think at the core of this podcast and this journey and everything we do at Happiful is about exploring and trying different things and figuring out what helps us and also what doesn't. So I'd really love to come around to each of you and learn a bit more about anything that you've found hasn't worked for you that you've tried. Just because I think it's always interesting to hear about this.
So, Chloe, I'm gonna come to you again on this. Is there anything that you've maybe tried and found that actually, this doesn't work for me?
Chloe: Yes. But it's not as simple as that because some things work for some things, some things don't work for other things. So I have used our, all of our directories over the years, with trying different things and because I speak to our professionals every single day and part of my job is to ask them what they do, how does it help, things like that so I can get a good understanding of how then they would communicate that to clients. And I learn so much from what it is that they say.
I had two bereavements last year, both 34 years old, two completely different times of the year. And I got to the beginning of this year and I was really struggling and it was two very specific intrusive thoughts that I was dealing with. And I went to see a counsellor for the first time. Now the counsellor really helped me to acknowledge what it was that I was thinking and actually, it was a really nice way for me to talk to somebody about those thoughts because, in my head, they're repeating over and over again what it was I was thinking.
When I actually spoke them out loud to another person, it's so hard to kind of explain unless you've experienced this, but it shifted my whole opinion on what it is that I was thinking just by talking about it. There was, however, another element that was kind of underneath that of the bereavement that the counselling didn't necessarily help with, which I found hypnotherapy really helped with. So I've seen a hypnotherapist for a few different things over the years. So that kind of more deep-rooted belief system if you like, the hypnotherapist helped me to switch off that.
So I would say from trying different things, I know, for example, meditation really helps me. So I could do lots of meditation, go to things like that. Hannah's given me Reiki before and I've had Reiki from some of our professionals on our directory before. That really helps. But it's not like one thing is going to fix everything.
You might try one thing and it might help you with one element of what you're experiencing. But actually, you might need something else because if you think of who we are and the layers of who we are, the thoughts, the things that have happened to us over the years, it kind of all builds up. Of course, one thing isn't going to blanket cover and fix everything. So it's a case of just trying things like research things.
You know, you might have seen something on kinesiology, well you know, I've just been speaking to somebody the other day who's raves about it, it's the most amazing thing. I'm now gonna give it a try just to see if it helps me. If it doesn't, doesn't matter if it does, I win. So yeah, I think I've come to the understanding that not one thing fixes everything, but it may still help you but just not in the way that you necessarily thought. So it's about trying lots of different things like making cocktails and I love cocktails. So, <laugh>.
Kat: That is such a good message for everyone to take away, the idea that something can help for one element of something. I think that's so interesting and thank you so much for sharing your story of what you went through and what helped with that. And I can really understand how verbalising something can make such a difference. But, as you said, you needed something different to help make actual change happen. And for somebody else, it might be the other way round, it might be something else helps for that and a different thing makes the change happen.
So that is such an important thing for everyone I think listening to takeaway is exploring different things and not expecting that one thing, you know, to solve all of your problems or to fix everything. It's about finding different things and adjusting as well because we are humans, we evolve, and we change as well. So what worked for us a few years ago may now not work for us. So it's about experimenting with all these different things. So, thank you so much for sharing that.
Claire, I'm gonna come to you next. Anything that you have tried or experienced that you found hasn't really worked for you?
Claire: Not that I can actually think of. No, not specifically, which I know is not actually that helpful. But if you do nothing, you're not helping yourself. So, on the same token of Chloe's point is, that by trying and doing, you are helping yourself in that process. That is a form of self-care. That's a form of looking at yourself and thinking what is it that I need? Maybe it is this, maybe it is okay, maybe it is counselling, I'll start there. That's how it led onto hypnotherapy. It could start with hypnotherapy and then lead onto counselling because there is something else more that you do need to explore down a route that's that. For me, I love life coaching. I love someone sort of like looking forward, let's look at this, let's look at this change. But you can't do that without something else that might need something beforehand.
I can't personally say what hasn't worked, but I certainly would say what doesn't work for me is doing nothing. And actually doing something, trying to keep trying, keep talking to yourself, that inner voice that can take over sometimes depending on what mood you're in, that is the 'Oh, something's not quite right. I do need to look at something here.' Whether it's going for a massage, whether it's doing something like this. But I would, you know, generally sort of say doing nothing is what doesn't work for me. I don't have any specifics. I'm sorry. That's a really boring answer.
Kat: That is very specific though because it... As you said, it's the inaction, it's the not doing anything and letting yourself sit knowing that something isn't right, but maybe not knowing how to take that step forward or not taking any action, but actually bringing up that self-awareness and asking yourself what could help me and start to look and start to research different things is what you find works. And I think that is probably the case for a lot of people.
Claire: Yeah, it definitely sits heavy in my stomach or on my chest - I feel it in my chest when I know something's not quite right, when I haven't worked out what it is that isn't right. So I need to do that before I work out what it is that I need. We're very fortunate here because we have such a wealth of different therapy options. We read our magazine, we're very equipped with maybe too many options - like, I'd sometimes have option overload. So I'm like, I don't know, it's gonna take me ages to get through all this, but as long as I'm thinking and doing and talking to myself constantly, I'm already helping myself in that process.
Kat: Brilliant. Thank you so much. And yeah, I can totally relate to that overwhelm and I think that's another part of, this podcast as well is recognising that there are lots of different tools but also just kind of tentatively trying what resonates with you rather than feeling like you have to try everything, to see what works. So yeah, definitely resonate with that. Thank you. And Wade yourself, is there anything that you have found, over the years maybe hasn't been as helpful for you or something that maybe holds you back when it comes to mental health and wellness?
Wade: Yeah, for sure. For many years now I've worked as a contractor in partnership with one of my oldest friends who I met at one of the first workplaces that I worked at. We tried to get away from each other, but we kept coming back to each other. So in many senses, not working with my partner is one of the things that doesn't work for me. We're fortunate enough to have a very close relationship and we are able to share and discuss lots of things either about work or personal life or very bizarre topics that probably won't fit into this podcast. And that process is something that does work, that sharing, that reliance on someone. So being in isolation I guess would be the answer. Being isolated doesn't work. I would say I am not an extrovert, but being isolated at the other end of the scale...
So fully remote working, for example, is something that doesn't work for either of us. There came a point where we were doing a lot of remote contracts for other clients and we were fully remote all of the time and it just didn't work for us. We decided to put our hands in our own pockets and just go and hire an office just so we could go and spend time with each other and obviously, by extension, just other people that are around in, in society. And that was the fix for that.
When we started working with Happiful, we obviously started coming to their offices because it's full of lots of lovely people, we all like to share and discuss. So yeah, isolation, that would be the one thing that doesn't work. And if it's just a feeling of isolation or being actually physically isolated from other people, I think it's something that can creep up on you over time and you don't realise it until you're isolated, at which point it could be difficult to get out of. So seeing it come in, avoiding it is what does and doesn't work for me.
Kat: Brilliant, thank you. That's such an interesting point and such a good point as well for people to consider. And as you said, keeping an eye up for these things creeping up on you and recognising, you know, have I shut myself away for a while? I can definitely be guilty of that. I am also an introvert who does also like seeing people sometimes <laugh> sometimes.
So there is that really fine balance and it can be quite easy to get stuck in your own little bubble, your own little world. So I know for me, I definitely need prompts and I need to remind myself every now and then, like have you spoken to friends? Have you gone into the office recently? I've gotten into quite a nice habit of coming in about once a week, which is a really lovely balance for me to see people and talk to people and get that sense of connection because it can be really easy to feel isolated otherwise. So thank you for sharing that.
And Hannah, I'm going to come to you now. Is there anything that you found hasn't worked for you in terms of your mental health and wellbeing?
Hannah: So I don't know whether I've got anything completely specific, but I can tell you the type of things that don't work for me and, very much off the back of what Chloe said, I a hundred per cent agree that it's never gonna be one thing. So if something is presented to me as the answer and the only answer that just turns me off anyway, I'm like, that doesn't... It won't ever resonate with me because I don't believe that for anything. I always think it's going to be multiple things and different things at different times. So completely agree with that.
And then also if something can't work itself into my daily life, that's not going to work either. So whether that's a timing thing, you know, if it's going to take up too much time, that's not going to work for me. If it's too expensive, if I'm not going to be able to afford it in the long-term, that's not gonna work for me either. I do think I benefit from routine, so if it can't be incorporated into my routine, even though I'm not completely rigid with that, it's just probably a no-no.
Kat: That's such an important thing to know and for everyone to think about is - yeah, whether or not things are going to fit into their daily routine if that's important to you. And if that's something that is not going to work, like if there's some lengthy - even if it's a self-care routine - I think if it's something that's going to take three hours, you know, there's three-hour morning routines that for some people it works for, other people it's not going to work for. And yeah, finding what is going to sit into that routine and resonate with you and your lifestyle as well.
And I really love that you brought up money as well because that is such an important point to recognise what is going to be affordable and manageable for you as well and what's not. It is an important part of the process. Like a lot of the things we talk about on this podcast, some of them do cost money, you know, going to see private counsellors, going to see life coaches, things like that.
It does involve a financial investment and that is something to consider when you are finding what will work for you. And there are ways around it, there are options out there available, but it's something that I'm keen for people to recognise is part of the process. So thank you for bringing that up.
So next I would really love to hear any words of advice you have for those who are trying to find what works for them. And I feel like you've already shared so much there's already been some great advice shared, but if you had any specific words of encouragement for anyone who might be listening to this thinking, I know something isn't right right now, but I don't know what to do. What would you say to them? And Chloe, I'm going to come to you first.
Chloe: Yeah, I think I'd say to perhaps maybe start with where your interest is and when I say that, it's because... Let's look at anxiety for example. Just getting started on a journey can be - you can start it in in multiple ways. You could do it through counselling or psychotherapy. You could do it through coaching, hypnotherapy, your nutrition, your health. So wherever your interest is at that moment. If you are somebody who's into, who's quite spiritual, you like things like massage, you, like things like Reiki, reflexology, just have a look at the Therapy Directory, look at all of the different, have a read through all of the different types of therapies and just see which one makes you lean towards it and say, oh, this is an interest to me. If you think, oh, you know, I'm really interested in what I'm eating or exercising.
Okay, why don't you try that as your first route to go down? Because once you start your journey, things start changing and shifting for you and your perception of everything... You get this new awareness and new clarity just from that very first point of where you start. So you don't have to overwhelm yourself. Just have a little look and think, what's my interest right now? Where is it that I would like to get started? And I'm somebody who loves to learn, like I love reading to learn about new things. If that's not you, that's absolutely fine. I would say if you aren't that sort of person, perhaps definitely lean into your interest and then from there you'll start to naturally have conversations and things will start coming in and your awareness will happen that way.
If you are somebody who loves to learn, then get reading, go through the articles, go through Happiful. I mean, if you're not into reading magazine-type articles, that's absolutely fine. Go onto the directories individually, have a look at the different types of therapies and how it works and something will spark your interest. That's naturally how we are as human beings - our interest will be sparked by something that is in front of us and just start there. And if all of that maybe seems overwhelming, ask somebody, ask somebody from the Happiful team.
Ask somebody that you may know, somebody who you know that they know about that stuff. Ask them, we're all willing to listen. If we've got an interest in something we're all willing to talk and listen to it. So I'd say that would be my starting point. Lean into your interest and if you really can't find anything, ask somebody who knows about that stuff.
Kat: Brilliant. What great advice there. I think that's amazing because yes, we do need to just lean into what interests us because not only will that help us make that first step, but we are more likely to actually follow through and do the thing if we are reading about it and we are like, 'oh, this is an interesting thing, I would like to explore more', that's going to definitely resonate with us more. And yep, speaking to people about it, if you know people in your community around you that are into this stuff, like have a chat with them and see what works for you and just start trying. I think as you said, the important thing is to just start. Because once you start with something, it'll either open your eyes to something that does work for you or, as we've learned, it'll open your eyes to something that isn't right for you. And then you can be like, okay, let's cross that one off the list that's not working for me right now. What's something else if that hasn't worked, let's try kind of the opposite side of that. So, brilliant. Thank you so much.
And Claire, how about yourself? Any thoughts or words of advice to anyone who's trying to find something that will work for them?
Claire: How do I follow Chloe? That was a fantastic explanation. Thanks for that one, Chloe.
Kat: Sorry Claire. Sorry Claire <laugh>.
Claire: No, no, no, no, no. There's always more to say. But yeah, like read, take it all in. I am an impulsive shopper and I definitely would go down the same route. Like if I read, 'You've gotta get these, you've gotta do that..' Okay. Okay. I buy, buy, buy. Do, do, do. So I do like a true story. I'm obsessed with true documentaries and real life and learning about all different things that people will go through and have a journey. I'm just an absolute... I just love that because I learn so much from it. And then I can apply and see what would potentially I would use and understand and know what I could do with when I need it.
So yes, read, absorb, watch whatever medium that works for you. I know we've got an abundance of resources that you can hopefully find something that does work for you. Whether it's listening to our podcast, whether it's reading our magazine or reading our online articles on all the directories and on Happiful really is helpful. Like, it really does serve a purpose for someone who is looking at making that first step and having a look at what the issue is that they want to kind of chip away at, I suppose. But even just before you might start looking at that, for me, just making sure that I do the things in a day that gives me joy. So I'm in a place that I feel like I'm ready to then carry on with what it is that I'm looking to achieve, what my goal is.
Things that do give me joy are just giving myself some time to go for a walk, do exercise. It's more for the mindfulness for me because then I have a clear mind so I can then read and learn about what it is that will work for me. Hopefully, avoid social media. I know it is an obvious one, but if I'm feeling full the last thing I wanna do is just watch things. So it very much is you take that time for you and you do what works for you.
Kat: That's a really great point to have that clear mind first and take care of yourself at a basic level and make sure you are in a position to potentially learn to go away and read and research because if we are feeling like we're drowning to begin with, then it can be really hard to start taking that first step. So being able to take that time for yourself and do what you need to do to be in a better mindset to start researching things is a really good point. And I loved what you said there about true stories as well. I think that's really important because that can be a great way of understanding how something supported somebody else.
And then, as you said, maybe you might resonate with that person who's telling that story and think, Hey, this could actually work for me as well. Maybe I'll have a look. So yeah, testimonials as well, hearing from people who have found success through it is a great way of learning more about it and what could work for you. So yeah, really helpful points. Thank you Claire.
And Wade, I'm going to come to you next. Any thoughts or words of wisdom for anyone who is starting to think about finding something that will work for them?
Wade: Yeah, I mean, just touching on the last point from Claire there about effectively disconnecting from social media when things are being hectic is just slow down. Just slow down. Get away from the everyday clutter of life every now and again and take time to just be. Think about yourself, think about what's going on in your life and try and make sense of some of that. And then leading on from that, talk to other people, whether that's to listen to them, which can obviously be helpful to share someone else's problems, it can be somewhat therapeutic in my personal experience, or to talk to other people, but to really engage with those moments - don't just chat, really talk to people.
Kat: Perfect. Thank you. That's really helpful too, yeah - slow down. Take that time to just be by yourself for a bit and understand what's going on in your own mind and then start to reach out to other people and connect. And I think you're right. I think listening to other people as well can have a really great effect on you. I know for me, sometimes listening to people helps me step out of my own bubble and get a slightly larger perspective on things which sometimes can help or it can help me realise that I'm not the only one going through what I'm going through. And that makes it just that little bit easier to take that next step maybe in asking for help, realising that you're not the only one who's feeling that way.
Wade: Yeah, I think perspective can be a big changer to the conversation. You know, when you are sharing advice or wisdom with someone else, things that you say to someone else, you take in and reflect back at yourself and think, hey, if I'm saying that to them, why doesn't it apply to me? So you can start giving good advice to other people and start taking that advice on yourself where you may normally skip over that and not care for yourself.
Kat: Exactly. That's always advice we hear, isn't it? To treat ourselves like we would our friends. And that can be easier said than done, but I do think a step towards that is to actually start speaking to other people and as you said, give those words of wisdom and then start thinking, oh, hang on a minute, I could probably do with this as well. So yeah, really great points there. And Hannah, coming to you now, any last words of wisdom or advice you would give to anybody searching for something that will support their mental health and wellbeing?
Hannah: Yeah, of course. So, I think one of the things that has come up quite a few times while we've been talking is just trying different things. And when you are trying something new, just give it everything you can in that moment. So really be present for whatever it is you are doing. So you know, if you're going for reflexology, embrace that moment while it's happening and just give it a chance and then give yourself time afterwards just to reflect and then see what it did for you. Because sometimes it's not in the moment that you'll feel the shift. It could be a few hours later, a few days later, a few weeks later when it'll suddenly catch up with you and you'll look back and you'll think, oh, that's what it did for me. So give it a little bit of time. And if you come to the end of that and feel that it wasn't right for you, don't be disappointed. It's probably just got you one step closer to the thing that is going to work for you. And it's always something that you can come back to.
Kat: Absolutely, recognising that these things can take time to create shifts in us is so important. And something I definitely resonate with. I remember when I had counselling when I struggled as a teen with an eating disorder, there were things that were said in those sessions at the time I didn't understand and I didn't find helpful. But then months down the line when I was in my recovery process, it all clicked for me and I was like, oh, that's what they were talking about. This all makes sense. So yeah, that's especially true I think of counselling and other things as well. It can take time for these things to click into place. So definitely take your time with it and as you said, don't be disappointed if it's not right for you because it's that one step closer to finding what is right for you.
Thank you so much for sharing and thank you everyone for joining me today. It was so lovely to chat to you all and a huge thank you to anyone who has been tuning in to this first season of the podcast. We are going to be taking a break, but we're going to be back in the new year with season two. And in the meantime, you can of course, visit happiful.com to read our online articles, subscribe to our magazine and find professional support. And until next time, please take care.