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Reflecting on lockdown: protecting our wellbeing

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May marks the arrival of Mental Health Awareness week, 10th-16th May, and the theme is ‘nature’. Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, CEO Mark Rowland has released a statement explaining the decision behind this year’s theme – read it here.

The link is evident, reflecting how our lives have been limited over the last year. With lockdowns in place, we were forced to spend time with ourselves - whether we liked it or not! Here at Cushon, as May came rolling in and we reflected on wellbeing as a whole, we decided to do some digging and see what our fellow team members did to boost their mood and prioritise their wellbeing during lockdown.

We’ve turned them into a mini checklist, which you can view and download here.

The undeniable themes we saw in the responses were around nature, exercising (often outside!), and mentally disconnecting through various channels. The surprising result was how few mentioned speaking to others, almost as if nature was the therapy we couldn’t give each other. The saying ‘nature healing’ really comes to life when you’re around it more, and hopefully this connection with nature is now more cemented into society and will live on beyond lockdown.

Sophie, our Head of Client Success is our plant mother, with an impressive sanctuary in her living room – you may see snippets of it if you’re lucky enough to see one of her webinars. She has inspired others to get involved, with a fellow Client Success Manager and our Sales Team Leader taking the dive to become plant parents too.

“Every cloud has a silver lining”

This connection many of us have developed with the outside world is not limited just to nature. In the last few years, we have seen a shift in attitudes across many aspects of life, corporations are under the ESG magnifying glass and many of us are switching to small or local businesses. Attitudes towards animal testing and eating meat are now questioned frequently, with companies being forced to come clean about their practices. This behaviour of reflecting and questioning our actions is also seen in investing, with a shift being evident towards ‘responsible investing’.

An exciting development on the horizon is the launch of our in-app ESG voting. We have partnered with Tumelo to provide this engaging opportunity. With technology to screen individual companies that you are invested in, you’re able to have a say on how these businesses are run.

You can vote on ethical issues like animal cruelty or climate change, directly in your Cushon app. Your vote is grouped with other investors’ votes and collectively they influence how the fund manager votes and ultimately how the businesses you are invested in deal with these issues.

In a time where it’s becoming more important for us all to be heard, the launch of this is the perfect way to engage further with your savings.

To sign off this blog, our Client Success Manager Ellie Honess uncovered a fondness for writing poetry during lockdown, and to mark this year’s Mental Health Week has written the following. We hope you enjoy it.