People often ask me how I manage to juggle so many different businesses and commitments, while finding the time to live and love life. One of the most important things I try to do is focus on the here and now to stay more mindful every day.
To mark World Mental Health Day, I’m proud that Virgin Trains and Virgin Trains East Coast are working alongside the Mental Health Foundation to become the world’s first travel company to launch a dedicated channel promoting positive mental health.
It features my own top three tips for staying on top of your game. First I would recommend that your day start with some kind of exercise activity. It always sets me up for the day ahead. Next, I would advise taking a break from your smartphone and your technology, in order to avoid burnout. Finally, allow yourself to be in the moment and enjoy it. Take time to switch off to spend quality time with your family and with your friends. These may be simple tips, but they work for me.
I’ve always found train journeys are a great place to reflect on things and spend quality time with yourself – key features of being mindful. The Be Mindful channel, which features exclusive meditative videos and beautiful ‘real time’ footage of the West Coast and East Coast routes, is available exclusively on Virgin Trains on-board entertainment system, BEAM. It also showcases six specially shot videos of calming locations across the UK specially chosen by Virgin Trains staff, including St Margaret’s Loch, Lake Windermere, the Yorkshire Dales and Loch Lomond. The real-time, slow films have been filmed from the driver’s cab, running at over four hours in each direction.
Managing mental health and wellbeing is so important in modern life, and something we take very seriously indeed across the Virgin Group. This World Mental Health Day, I also want to highlight Virgin Money’s work supporting Heads Together, promoting mental health as an open and natural conversation topic. Heads Together are Virgin Money’s Charity of the Year, and the Charity of the Virgin Money London Marathon. The team have been focusing fundraising on Heads Together, as well as inviting seven mental health charities into our Gosforth office to further highlight the need to focus upon this crucial topic. Today, there are coffee mornings in Virgin Money Stores promoting awareness and supporting staff and customers.
Meanwhile, our employee wellbeing business Virgin Pulse are hosting a webinar on mental resilience on October 13th. Helping Employers Build Workforces That Bounce Back will focus on managing stress and building resilience across personal and professional lives. As we all know, this is critical for maintaining a healthy workforce and a healthy business.