#AnxietyArch Themes

Architecture has a history of being a male-dominated industry so this month we are focusing on Women in Architecture. There are many women that have broken through the glass ceiling and are making a success in the industry. This month we'll be highlighting the great things women do in the industry and taking time to represent female voices in our news topics.

Women in Architecture:

1. Using the FAB mantra - Guest Post by Bianca Man, Part II Architectural Assistant

2. Standing in the Way of Control: Motherhood and Architectural Practice - Guest Post by Caitlin MacLeod

3. Women working in architectural professions - Guest Post by Abigail Patel

4. Complexities of being an Architect - Guest Post by Alina Holyst, Architect 

5. Three key actions for a positive workplace culture Guest Post by Angela Dapper, Architect

6. The Juggling act of being a working mum - Guest Post by Karyn Williams, Architectural technologist

This month's theme is Mindfulness, looking how we can all use mindfulness to improve our mental wellbeing. Being mindful is all about being present in the moment and being in touch with our own emotions. In the busy world of Architecture it is importat to take moments to yourself, to breathe and clear your mind. We will be sharing tips this month on how we can all adapt to the methods of mindfulness in order to improve our own lives.

Mindfulness:

1. Mindfulness in everyday life - by Asma Chand, ABS

2. Mindfulness for Architects - Guest Post by Ben Channon, (The Mindful Architect)

September's theme focused on the arts and the important impact art can have in fostering good mental wellbeing. Artistic creativity has always had a significant place within the architecture profession. Drawing or creating 3D models are art forms used in architecture but there is a huge variety of other creative activities. Whether it’s drawing, dancing, acting or any of the many other different creative outputs, the arts are a great way to help improve people’s mental wellbeing.

The Arts:

1. #Time2Sketch - Post by ABS

2. The Arts and Architecture - Guest Post by Priya Aiyer

With the sun shining across the UK, we thought it was only apt to talk about the environment we are in. The physical and outdoor space that we are in can greatly affect our mood. Working in a bright office with lots of natural sunlight or adding a few plants into the room can enhance someone's mood. Sometimes the space only requires minor upgrades to improve, other times it needs to be redone with wellbeing in mind.

Physical and Outdoor Space:

1. Idyll Outdoor Space - Guest Post by Sam Shaw

2. Uplifting Places Created Through Greenspaces - Post by Tom Shore, ABS

Our mental wellbeing can often be affected by various external situations, as well as internal. We covered a few of these already but one major situation that we have not spoken about yet is Finance. Money and finances can cause a lot of additional pressure or stress on people. We offer monthly grants or one off payments to help cover some of these difficulties and so, we wanted to dedicate this month to talking about finance.

Finance articles:

1. Finance and its impact on Mental Wellbeing - Post by Helen, Welfare Officer

2. Geoff's Story - Post by Geoff, a beneficiary

Having a good night's sleep is an important factor in maintaining our mental well-being. According to the Mental Health Foundation sleep is as important as eating, drinking and breathing. Poor sleep can both affect and be affected by stress, which is why practicing sleep hygiene is important for our mental health. So, for the month of June, let's talk about good sleeping habits!

Sleep articles:

1. Architectural Nightmares - Guest Post by Simeon Shtebunaev

2. The Affect of a Good Night's Sleep - Post by ABS

3. Top Tips to help you Sleep - Post by ABS, featuring the National Sleep Foundation

This month, we want to focus on Social Aspects and how it affects anxiety, stress or anxiety based depression. According to the NHS, there is evidence to show that relationships with family, friends and our wider communities are important for our mental health. As we focused on the benefits of exercise and nutrition last month, we feel it is important to discuss the importance of interpersonal connection to build and strengthen mental wellbeing. 

Social Aspects articles:

1. Bake The World A Better Place  - Post by ABS

2. Arrows Not Tommy Guns - Guest Post by Neil Scroxton

3. Neurodiversity of Autism - Guest Post by Angela Heeley (on twitter as Autistic Architect @aheeleyRIBA)

4. It's Good to Talk - Guest Post by Rick McCluggage

We've spoken quite a bit about some of the environments that can cause stress - such as the workplace or education. However, there are also lifestyle changes that can affect levels of stress or anxiety. These lifestyle choices can help you to cope at times. This month, we wanted to talk about Exercise and Nutrition. With the London Marathon this month and many other upcoming exercise challenges, it seemed like a good time to talk about the benefits of doing regular activities and how food can impact on your mental health.

Exercise and Nutrition articles:

1. Training for a Marathon - Guest Post by Chris Williamson

2. An Apple a Day - Guest Post by HTA

3. The Benefits of Running for Mental Health - Guest Post by Emma K

4. Exercise in Practice - Guest Post by Orms

5. Recovering from trauma through Exercise - Guest Post by Andy McLeish

6. Socialising Without Alcohol - Guest Post by Chris Williamson

Last month we looked at the importance of wellbeing in the workplace. However, it takes many years of studying to become an Architect, Architectural Technologist or Landscape Architect. Education plays a very important part in people's careers and can have a huge impact on people's mental health. The AJ Student Surveys in 2017 and 2018 showed that more students are experiencing a common mental health problem as the figures increased from 1 in 4 students to 1 in 3 students. This rise is a big concern, which is why we think it is imperative that we all work together to tackle this issue. Individuals and universities are urged to take action now to help raise awareness of the support available out there and encourage students to look at their wellbeing.

Education articles:

1. Studying Architecture; how I coped - Guest Post by Abigail Patel

2. Architectural Education; a shared responsibility - Guest Post by Scott McAulay

3. The Whirlwind of University - Guest Post by Oli Henshall

4. Mental Wellbeing and the Architecture Student - Dissertation by Melissa Kirkpatrick

5. 'Can I help?' - Guest post

In February, our #AnxietyArch theme was Wellbeing at Work. Stress plays a huge factor in causing ill health. It is estimated that 45% of lost working days in the UK due to stress (source: Health and Safety Executive, Labour Force Survey). This is not restricted to the architectural professions alone but is a shocking indication of how stress can impact an employee’s performance at work. Promoting wellbeing at work can help to create a less stressful environment for employees and has proven effects of increased productivity. As a result, there’s no doubt that employers should aim to look after their staff’s wellbeing whilst in the workplace.

Read more about why we chose Wellbeing at Work here.

Wellbeing at Work Articles:

1. The Importance of Wellbeing at Work - featuring ABS President Jane Duncan OBE and CEO Robert Ball

2. How to promote wellbeing at work - featuring Jane Duncan OBE

3. Wellbeing at Work from an individual - Guest Post by Charlotte Goodman-Simpson

4. What Wellbeing at Work looks like in practice - featuring Assael Architecture

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