21 May

Ingenuity in lockdown

Lockdown has been both a strange and challenging time for everyone across the world. People have been thrown in at the deep end of fulltime working from home and distance from our friends and families. It’s a time of high anxiety and we’ve had to quickly adapt to a new way of life. At Ingenuity we’re an outgoing and sociable bunch, so having to leave our colleagues, the office and of course the local Fitzrovia pubs behind has of course been tough.

In light of Mental Health Awareness week, we’ve come together as a team to share some insights into what has helped us keep positive during this time. Whether it’s Zoom calls with pals, group quizzes, daily jogs, yoga sessions (a pet duck) or baking – these activities have all played a part in helping improve the mental wellbeing for the whole Ingenuity gang.

Take a read below!

Mike Rees, Lead Gen Account Director

Aim to have less time on your phone and more time in the real world. From the moment we wake up, to the moment we fall asleep (especially in lockdown) we spend most of the time looking at a screen. For me, it’s really important to take time with my own thoughts and take in my surroundings.

One habit I’ve taken up is meditating before bed each night. It’s a great way to stop using your phone before you sleep and a fantastic to really switch off your brain.

Juliette Perry, Lead Gen Account Manager

My workout routine has definitely been a huge encouragement for me staying positive, sane and smiling during this time.

I do a home workout every morning before heading to my office set up and always try to fit in a 30 minute – 1 hour walk once I’ve finished work for the day. This really helps me unwind and its lovely to get some fresh air before settling in for the evening. This pandemic has really drawn attention to how important daily movement is to me and highlights all of the positive effects this has not only on my health and wellbeing, but also making me a better friend, colleague and daughter.

Jess Bird, PR Senior Account Executive

Lockdown has been a learning curve for me, and I’ve really tried to focus on doing things which make me feel good, both mentally and physically! This has included taking the time to enjoy a walk in the sun whilst calling my Mum or joining a live workout on Instagram to keep active.

I’ve also tried to turn off all screens by a reasonable time on weekdays, this helps me get a good sleep and fully switch off at the end of the day. The time I would usually spend scrolling on my phone in bed, has meant I’ve been able to start a journal – which helps get all those isolation worries out!

Jared Rood, Brand Partnerships Manager

A short drive after work helps me separate the working day from personal time.

Nick Winder, Lead Gen Account Manager

Exercise has been really helpful for me to relax and think about something completely different to the day’s work. From going for a run to even just doing some skipping, I really notice the difference in my mood each evening and find it easier to remain more positive throughout the day.

Charlie Dudgeon, Head of European Events

The responsibility of raising and nurturing an abandoned three-day old duckling has been a welcomed distraction during lockdown life. Given the popularity of office dogs and their effectiveness in creating a positive workplace, I am expecting a swift increase in the need for an office duck in the future!

You can follow the journey of Confit the Duck on Instagram @ confit_the_duck

Molly Elvin, Head of New Business

I’ve been practicing social distancing for most of my adult life, so being told to stay home was music to my ears! I feel really lucky to have only had a few down days over the last two months, and that’s probably due to the fact that I live with two of my best friends. There’s never a dull moment in our household, so I haven’t struggled with feeling lonely.

We’ve been cooking for each other every night, baking most weekends and getting crafty which has really helped to clear our heads, shut off from work life and do something different!

I’ve also recently invested in a bike, and other than falling off it in front of 15 or so other customers outside Halfords, it’s been great for my mental wellbeing.

Chris Wilson, Head of Brand Partnerships

Some friends and I set up PANDEM RUN CLUB 4 NHS, taking part in various running challenges for donations. So far, we’ve raised nearly £6,000 and have some new, exciting challenges planned. This has really helped me keep focussed and driven during lockdown.

Help Pandemic Race Run4NHS raise money to support NHS Charities Together: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pandemic-race-run4nhs

Freddie Fox, Agency Selection Manager

Taking the time to listen to a podcast, ‘How to Fail’ with Elizabeth Day has been a particular favourite. I’ve also kept myself occupied with baking ginger biscuits and bread and also writing children’s story called ‘The Diablo Deal’ – which have all helped stop me from going insane during lockdown!

Harry Hancock,  Lead Gen Senior Account Manager

Being able to fully appreciate my downtime has made working from home much more bearable. I’m making sure – regardless of the time – that I’m always getting in a good lunch break, where I can really switch off and not worry about anything work related.

I’ve also jumped back into my old reading habits, with books both old and new. It’s been really important to take myself away from the situation and experience a different reality – whether that’s Hogwarts, Middle-Earth, or even Maine in the US (I’m a big Stephen King fan.)

Oliver Slattery, Lead Gen Account Director

I used to bake at University and drop off steaming hot foccacia’s to fellow drunk students for three quid a pop. I lost touch with dough over the years, but lockdown has reignited the love affair (to everyone’s benefit). I love the science, and the ‘thinking’ you have to apply to it, it completely puts me in the zone and any stress evaporates.

I live in the West Country hills and most days I strap a 10k weighted vest on, along with my baby on and go for a ‘proper’ walk in the rolling hills. It puffs me out and gets that premium air into the lungs! Every time I step out the door, I feel like I’m on holiday which has played a huge part in safeguarding my sanity. Wine is also a saving grace, because, well you know.

Liam Hesketh, Lead Gen Account Manager

For me, keeping positive during this time has meant joining countless video calls with friends and family, and speaking to them more than I would do if we weren’t actually confined to our homes! The experience has also taught me that just checking in on someone really goes a long way – you don’t always need a reason to have a call. I guess a few homemade baked goods doesn’t harm positivity either!

Kelly Double, Acting Head of PR + Content

For some time now, I have sworn by the holy triumvirate of yoga, wine and fresh air for keeping my mind clear and stable. I’ve been sticking to it even more stringently in lockdown – doing zoom yoga (who knew?), tramping through fields with the dog whatever the weather and rewarding myself at every possible occasion with a chilled glass of Saint Véran.

A group of friends and I have also agreed to run a remote half marathon at the end of July, with a minimum of 10 miles training required every week until then (with forfeits if you don’t meet it). It’s pretty brutal in the heat, but has been great for clearing my head before work and getting some alone time.