10th of October is World Mental Health Day, so we wanted to share with you some of the things that our team members are doing to keep their mental health in balance. Let’s begin with Ms. Yamamoto.

A prominent and respected Zen master (Shike) recently shared some words from the teachings of the Buddha in a recent interview with a magazine. He began by saying: “Admit that you love yourself the most, then cherish any other living beings.” Then, “We are all born with an axe inside of our mouths. Fools rip themselves to shreds with their axes by bad-mouthing others. Speak only words that don’t suffer you, and that don’t harm others. Only those words are well explained and understood.”

This means that we must never deny the love we feel for ourselves, accept it, and understand that we are also very dear to other people, so that we do not harm others.
As a member of a PR company that specialises in communication design, I am reminded of the need to be cautious about what one says and to be aware that we all have a fearsome axe or blade inside us.

A yoga teacher I admire said “When practicing yoga, keep your body and mind calm as a still lake that reflects surrounding scenery. Then observe inner self that is reflected on that lake.”

Whenever I feel tired, I try to let nature take over and feel the energy of Mother Earth in my body, or play with animals. Animals are called ‘companion animals’ and they heal us with their free love!

Next is Ms. Cathy!

Like many others in the world right now, I am forced to be indoors at home most of my time. I try to be creative in order to maintain my mental health, and not become down and depressed. As I enjoy cooking, going from one grocery store to the next is one of my favourite pastimes. Even with all my shopping experience, sometimes I don’t end up with the perfect fruit. The other day, a Japanese pear that I bought was too soft once I bit into it. I looked into my fridge and started to think, what I can do with this soft pair. I found a half-opened bottle of white wine, so I decided to make a pear compote. I did not follow any recipe rigidly but just followed my cooking instinct, and even to my own surprise, it turned out absolutely delicious! In the photo, I added soda water to make a wonderful pear compote summer drink! Even in a difficult situation, being creative and making something different may lead to unexpected joy.

Lastly, from Ms. Suzuki.

We often hear that the number of people dealing with a mental illness due to the prolonged Covid sitution is growing, and I am one of them.

Until now, I’ve been able to stay energetic by regularly spending time with friends- eating good food, drinking and talking, but with restrictions these kinds of gatherings, it’s been difficult for me to do so!

In the middle of all this, recently I’m hooked on ironing. Even a totally mangled shirt will come out nicely with an iron. Seeing the surface of the wrinkled fabric smooth out is a great feeling, and the almost instantaneous way that the wrinkles disappear gives a unique sense of joy and accomplishment.

There is a word you hear a lot when talking about saunas these days: “invigorate”. However, I think that one can have great satisfaction from these little “invigorating” and “refreshing” moments, even in one’s day-to-day chores.