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As we steam into the festive season we know it's the busiest time of the year for our industry and this year, we're stretched more than ever. Putting your own self care and the wellbeing of your team at the top of your priority list is vital to help you glide towards the end of the year rather than crash and burnout.

We were recently contacted by Mike Roscoe, GM of The Ostrich in Bristol who shared his 'Wellbeing Corner' we thought it was such a great idea, we wanted to share with our community. We caught up with Mike to find out more about his wellbeing station and what inspired him to put it in place.

Mike, what a great idea to support your team, can you tell us what inspired you to put this together?

I've been in hospitality for 19 years, a few months ago I was lucky enough to go on a general manager Mental Health Awareness course with The Burnt Chef Project put on by Butcombe. I was so impressed! I've seen all kinds of metal health issues throughout my career and this is the first time I can say it's been addressed and as importantly, the first time I've seen action and compassion associated with it.

I personally struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and it's not a secret that the last 18+ months have been the hardest months hospitality has seen. I noticed this year more than any the effects of SAD on the team but also the general levels of mood and anxiety were so much worse than in previous years. I started to see a real change in peoples energy and interactions. I love my teams and the support and effort they have given me this year deserved action. With limited space, a "staff welfare corner" in the office was what I envisioned.

Tell us what's in the space you've created... I am a big proponent of looking after the body and mind and so started by looking at what supplements could help, we now have nutritional powdered greens, vitamin D, omega 3 and cod live oil as well as multivitamins.

I also know how diet really can effect people so wanted to introduce healthier snacks and treats for the team. We have some calming teas and some energising teas too. Alongside that, we have a book swap, some of the books are about well-being and mindfulness but some are just for fun!

I also put up three of The Burnt Chef Posters which I think are great- End of service checklist, Practical ways to look after your mental health and a signpost to The Burnt Chef Support Service. I want my team to know we take mental health seriously and are actively doing something to support their wellbeing.

Finally, I wanted the team to feel included and use the corner to "grow" so we have a whiteboard for ideas/recommendations/praise/positive quotes etc.

How has it been received by the team?

Everyone's loving it - taking the supplements and the snacks are getting topped up already! Most importantly, it's meant we can have some good open conversations too.

We think it looks great, thumbs up from us Mike and thank you for sharing!

If you have any ideas for staff wellbeing, would like to share your own wellbeing corners or just want to get in touch to chat, please drop us a line.

Remember to take time to listen to your body and mind this winter and make sure you give yourself time to recharge those batteries. This might look like a walk in the morning, taking five minutes to journal your thoughts at the end of a day or swapping that burger and chips for a balanced meal or swapping an end of shift drink for something non-alcoholic.

Whatever steps you can manage, make sure you're taking care of number one, yes, that's you.

Remember if you need support, you can text BURNTCHEF to 85258 in confidence 24/7.

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