Yep, an entire adult Kangaroo…’s worth of weight… of rubbish. *ahem* We did a litter pick in Folkestone, and we picked up the equivalent of an adult kangaroo. 🦘
Honestly, that’s not clickbait, that’s just clever headline writing and we even wrote a blog on how to write epic headlines a while ago if you fancied giving it a read.
So anyway, this week played host to supposedly the most depressing day of the year – Blue Monday. A day that was coined in such a way in 2005 by a holiday company who claimed they calculated the date using an equation that covered; weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing your New Years resolutions, low motivational levels and the need to take action.
This calculated date which, whilst at top-level looks pretty legit and believable, was actually just a marketing/PR stunt for said holiday company! *stunned silence*
Fair play to them, they managed to form a trending date that many have jumped on in various ways. And they maybe even sold more holidays? Cannot confirm. But hey, a win-win.
Well, we’re not one to celebrate the most “depressing day of the year” because that’s not very fun or GIANT style, is it?
Rather, we rebelled against Blue Monday and celebrated Purple Week company-wide
No dwelling on the negatives of life, instead we’ve hosted a number of activities and exercises that would help our GIANT team both mentally and physically. Setting them up for a fantastic start to the year and reaffirming to them all that they’re doing just fine the way they are!
What did we do to celebrate Purple Week? Let me break it down for you.
Day 1 – Not-So-Blue Monday
We kicked off the week with Olympic-grade activities.
No, really. We had former double Olympian Jack Green come to visit us on Monday morning to speak to our giants about his experiences with mental health, societal pressures and outlook on life.
Jack is a fellow Folkestonian so it felt even more relevant to hear from him. He shared his stories with us and gave advice on how to tackle things like depression and anxiety. *Spoiler alert*, something that really helped Jack was chewing gum and a dog! But we’ll let you hear his talk for yourselves!
Jack is a mental health advocate and a Mind and YoungMinds Ambassador, recognised across the country and athletic community for his open and frank discussions on mental health and the tolls pressure can have on us as people after battling with these things as an Olympic athlete.
The talk was awesome, very inspiring and created a sense of gratefulness within the space. He answered our team’s questions, shared advice and became a great local advocate in many of our eyes.
Day 2 – Grateful Workshop
On Tuesday, Luke shared stories of his challenges with mental health and some exercises he followed to help him approach challenges in different ways. Overall, this meant looking to find gratitude in the things around you and within your life, such as; health & fitness, fun & recreation, love & intimate relationships and work & finance.
Afterall, gratefulness = happiness.
Each member of the team was provided with a workbook with sections to fill in to help them work out what they were grateful for and what they appreciated.
Overall, we were looking to raise awareness in our giants, after the so-called most depressing day of the year. Helping them to identify the good things in life and how much joy they can bring when we don’t concentrate on the small negatively niggly things we often get wrapped up in.
Day 3 – The day of the Kangaroo (or 59 Darth Vader masks…) 🦘
On Wednesday lunchtime a group of giants took to the streets of Folkestone to conduct a GIANT litter pick.
Armed with the essentials (gloves, pickers, rubbish backs & a high-vis) and, of course, a healthy & safety risk assessment (thanks Kirsty), the teams took to four different areas of Folkestone for thirty minutes.
Whilst out and about, the groups were encouraged to discuss their learnings from the last two days and share the things they’re grateful for with others.
As well as this, they were able to show their appreciation for the local community and understand their impact on the environments that surround them on a daily basis.
A huge thank you to Folkestone & Hythe District Council who provided us with all the equipment and helped us dispose of the waste.
In the half-hour our teams were out, they managed to collect 88.6kg of litter. That’s the equivalent of an adult kangaroo, 59 Darth Vader masks and 32,593 ball pit balls.
After the litter pick, the team were welcomed back from the cold with hot chocolates and huge pats on the back – all feeling much more grateful for their local area.
Day 4 – Stretchy giants 🧘♀️
On Thursday we hosted two Yoga sessions in Giant Space, darkening the room and using purple mood lights to set a relaxing, and on-brand, environment.
Yoga is one of those activities that has been scientifically proven to benefit both mental and physical health. It can aid in stress and anxiety relief, promote sleep quality and the health of your heart, and is a generally a nice way to break up the working day!
Yoga practise is something many of our giant team get involved with as part of their personal routine, so seemed really excited to integrate it into their working day. Making the most of that work/life balance.
Regular yoga sessions are something we’d love to integrate into giant life and are super happy with the sessions Yoga With Cass ran for us.
Day 5 – GIANT team lunch & gratitude
So you may or may not know, but every month our teams (structure or/and random) are given a £10 per head team lunch budget. They arrange where and when to go, and enjoy each others company for a nice lunch out and about in Folkestone. Some even choose to put it towards a dinner together which is amazing to see.
Well, for January, we decided to put this towards a GIANT team lunch instead. And that’s exactly how we spent the final day of Purple Week.
So, on Friday our team met in the Bar at lunchtime and were greeted by an abundance of food ranging from sandwiches to chips, to snacks.
Whilst being grateful for each others company, and that of such an inclusive environment that’s been built by our agency, the teams spoke about their learnings from the week. It was awesome and you could definitely see a change in mindset for many people.
In addition to the lunch, and to make the most of everyone’s involvement throughout the week, we built a “Wall of Gratefulness”.
Around the fancy decal, we encourage everyone to grab a Sharpie and to write up the things they identified as what made them feel grateful/happy during the workshop Luke hosted on Tuesday.
We’ll also be asking all those that visit Giant Towers to add to this wall, so get your thinking caps on if you’re due to pop in anytime soon!
Overall, Purple Week has been a success. Much better than wallowing on a Monday and trying to push through the rest of the week after one business PR stunt went viral many moons ago!
It was also great to incorporate some green business activities into our week! Something we’re working super hard on as individuals and as an agency. We’ll be looking to host more litter picks and beach cleans throughout the year, getting other businesses involved too. Make sure to join the Go Green Business Community on LinkedIn to hear more from us and other local biz!
It’s important to consider and support your staffs mental and physical wellbeing as a business, something we all know but is easy to push back in favour of other activities from time to time. But let’s celebrate the things we’re grateful for and continue to carry this positive mindset through the rest of 2020.
“Our week started as a rebellion to blue Monday… We didn’t like the thought that external factors could tell us how we should feel. Mental health in the workplace has always been a bit of a taboo subject. Fortunately, more people are talking about it, and we have just taken the opportunity to show the team some practical tools to help build mental resilience. In the modern world where we are always connected it is more important than ever to build in a practical approach to helping your own mental health, just as you would go to the gym, or for a run for your physical health.“ – Luke Quilter, CEO
We hope we can inspire you to host similar activities in your workplace following the success of them at ours. And if you want to discuss any of these further with us, then please do get in touch!
GIANT thank you to Jack Green, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Yoga With Cass, the many shops we raided for food and of course our lovely giant team.
Want to know more?
Reach out and say hello. Come experience the GIANT side.