Mental Health Awareness Week: puppy love!
10 May 2021

Mental health has never been more important and over the past year, Vistry Group has taken huge strides in its commitment to the cause. With over 100 trained Mental Health First Aiders, a dedicated Mental Health Committee and Mind as its company charity, Vistry is continually progressing and raising awareness of mental health. The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 10th ?" 16th May, is nature. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways. Vistry will be recognising the theme by sharing a series of stories from staff on how they have connected with nature. In the second of the series, we’re hearing from Clare Williams, a Buyer for Vistry Cotswolds. Clare has been spending a lot more time outside after welcoming her lockdown puppy, a Cockapoo Indi, in July and then moved out into Gloucestershire countryside. "I have always wanted a dog and had been thinking about it for a while, but the timing had never been right. When lockdown hit last March, I knew I’d be around a lot more and thought now may be the time to settle in a new puppy. "My cousin breeds her dog and I mentioned to her in April that I may be interested in getting a pup ?" little did I know that the next litter was due the month after! "We picked Indi up on the 16th July and she settled in brilliantly. She is now completely part of the family and I couldn’t imagine life without her and her sassy ways! "There were some learning curves on both sides ?" especially with teething! I spent a lot of last summer wearing wellies to protect my legs in the garden whilst she learnt not to bite me ?" her teeth were so sharp! Frozen carrots, toys and tea towels were great diversions!! "Having a pet is said to be a natural destresser ?" and I can certainly vouch for that. Indi has a way of making me smile and laugh. No matter how upset, stressed or annoyed I am, she instantly takes my mind away from things and puts it into perspective! She gives me that reason to get up in the morning, go outside and get some exercise ?" which always makes me feel 100% better. "I would often work through my lunchbreak, but now with Indi, I’m forced to stop and take that break to get some air. Since working from home, I’ve really improved my work/life balance. I think I’m starting to realise that we need to work to live, not live to work. "Like a lot of people, the recent lockdown was quite a struggle for me. Being winter and away from family and friends, especially during Christmas, was tough. I think going out for walks and the distraction of Indi really was my saviour. "I find the fresh air, sound of nature, the sun on my face (or rain!) really relaxing and revitalises me to get out and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I come back ready to take on the day! "Luckily, we’ve got plenty of space around me, so we go on different walks around farmland and woods locally. At weekends, we go on much longer walks, exploring the area and, now with lockdown easing, going further afield. "I’ve really missed the social interaction from being the office, but Indi has been a great companion whilst working from home. "Since the pandemic hit, we’ve had our ups and downs, but it’s actually been a pretty amazing year. Firstly getting Indi and then buying my dream home, in the perfect location with my partner ?" it’s actually been quite exciting!"

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