May 30, 20230 mins read
In addition to AAPI Heritage Month, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. To observe mental health awareness this month, we asked several Snyk employees (aka “Snykers”) for wellness tips that may help others. Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversations with them.
Write it out
Journaling helps Simon Maple, Director, Field CTO, stay centered. He said, “Journaling has been very helpful for me, especially using it as an opportunity to recognise and write down things I am grateful for. I also find it helpful to write down problems I'm experiencing and assess my perspective and biases around them.”
Erika Cote, Senior Talent Branding Partner, keeps a gratitude journal and writes in it each morning when she wakes up. And Emily Kleber, Workplace Experience Coordinator, aims to write in her journal at least once a week.
Get up and move
Other Snykers practice intentional movement for mindfulness. Erika said, “I take a walk before I start my day, or go at lunch, to get fresh air and clear my head.”
Lili Kastilio, Sr. Software Engineer, also said, “For me, exercise is a really good tool for turning my mood and day around. I do different circuit workouts, and the mental capacity to focus on those means I let go of all the stress of the day so I can focus. I always walk away with achy muscles and a good mood.”
Felix Geelhar, Senior Program Manager, likes to wind down with movement at the end of the day. He said, “Winding down starts with a great run or gym exercise and playtime with my daughter.”
For Emily, planning to move intentionally means flexing her workout plans to match her schedule and energy. She said, “I like to create my own ‘ranges of flexibility’ for holding myself accountable. Example: I go to the gym four days a week, but if I’m feeling more run down than normal, instead of choosing between exercising at 100% or not at all, I make a list of secondary backup options. Because I like to strength train at the gym, my secondary options are at-home yoga, a walk around my neighborhood, etc.”
The National Institutes of Health recommends physical activity to improve mood, gain energy, get better sleep, reduce stress levels, and more!
Many of our Snykers center themselves through meditation. Erica Salzano, Senior Talent Business Partner, mentioned, “I love our Headspace app that we have through SnykCare for meditation. Definitely recommend!”
Felix also practices a mindful pause in his day with a cold morning shower followed by a ten-minute meditation. He also does a brief breathing exercise when sitting at his desk for the day.
Emily enjoys practicing “the meditation technique of ‘grounding’ every day anywhere from a couple of seconds to five minutes.”
Resources like Headspace provide lots of great tips for meditating. They recommend picking a consistent time, place, and meditation position, breathing naturally, and checking in with yourself after each practice.
Fuel your body well
Snykers also focus on fueling their bodies with the proper hydration and nutrition for wellness. For instance, Felix starts his day with a healthy breakfast. Emily also mentioned, “I try to drink 2x the amount of water per cup of coffee I have each day.”
According to Harvard Health Publishing, drinking water benefits the entire body by aiding digestion, normalizing blood pressure, and maintaining sodium balance.
Snyk’s mental health awareness month activities
Throughout May, Snyk has offered employees a few interactive activities for better wellness and mental health, including:
An ongoing Headspace mindfulness challenge. Opportunities for the entire company to engage in mindfulness activities via Headspace, provided by SnykCare.
AAPI & Mental Health Month campaigns. Throughout this month, Snykers can donate to AAPI and mental health causes.
AAPI Find your Zen Meditation. Snykers can practice and learn about the diverse traditions rooted in AAPI culture and experience the benefits of centuries-old healing practices such as tai chi, yoga, and meditation.
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