As we seek to rebuild and revive our vibrant City of London community spirit, this autumn The Royal Exchange has partnered with the charity Mind in the City to explore mental health and the important role relationships, conversation, connection and community play in wellbeing. Here, we talk to Ade Adeniji, The Royal Exchange’s front of house security manager, about how he maintains a positive and healthy state of mind.
What activities, habits or rituals have you found to be the most conducive to maintaining good mental health through challenging times?
I wake up one hour early every morning to do light exercise before coming to work. This helps to erase any negative thoughts and energies. It also helps to maintain both my physical and mental wellbeing. Fortunately, I have been coming to work during the lockdown. This is due to the nature of my job and the kind of services we provide to our client. As a result of this, I have kept to my usual morning exercise routine. I think people should take some time to reassess themselves, and stick to any form of routine or support network that works for them.
Who is your go-to person when you need to talk about a problem or challenge you are facing?
I often speak to my wife when overwhelmed with any problems or difficult challenges or, alternatively, seek spiritual guidance (prayer). It goes with the saying, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Mental health cuts across all age groups
When you feel low, what activity helps you to feel better mentally?
In my opinion, I think mental health affects two different types of people; those that require medical help and those that are affected due to their age and responsibilities. I reckon I fall into the latter category. Moreover, mental health cuts across all age groups. I tend to do light stretching and breathing exercises to improve my mental wellbeing.
Are there any particular things you’ve identified that can trigger a low mood, or anxiety, for you? And have you discovered any ways to combat them, that help you to feel more positive again?
Due to the current global Covid-19 pandemic, I do worry sometimes what the future holds for the next generation. Obviously because this is an unprecedented time, I still believe the world will overcome this pandemic and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Has the pandemic and the events of 2020 changed your thoughts and feelings towards a work-life balance and is there anything you’ll do differently now?
I wasn’t too affected because I was still coming to work during the lockdown. However, I think, on the plus side, it does helps to improve people’s view on hygiene and respecting other people’s personal space in public. It has also helped to highlight the importance of healthy living. Due to the nature of the pandemic, I would love to spend more time with my family because you never know what could be around the corner.
How would you define the new normal and what does it look like for you?
The new normal refers to the societal and economic state following a crisis. It has been an upheaval task to comprehend how we are going to come out of this global pandemic. I just pray and hope the whole world returns to the days when we could live our lives the way we choose and not the way they want us to.
What thought always puts you in a good mood?
I believe whatever position you find yourself in, in life, always assume you are in the middle. So, there is always someone aspiring to be like you and, likewise, there’s someone you aspire to be like. Other things that uplift my mood include spending time with my family and friends, watching sport and working with my colleagues.
Do you have a daily mantra for maintaining a healthy mind?
I thank God every morning for giving me good health, long life and a beautiful family.
Ade Adeniji is The Royal Exchange’s front of house security manager. He oversees the day-to-day running of the front of house security staff, making sure the team is providing excellent services for The Royal Exchange tenants and their visitors.
The Royal Exchange’s local Mind network – Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest – offers a range of innovative and collaborative services to support people’s mental and physical wellbeing, resilience and recovery. Click here for further information about how to access this local service, make a donation or find out how you could help with campaigning, volunteering and fundraising
Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest is part of the national Mind network, which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing difficulties, visit mind.org.uk to access information about a broad range of topics and services, designed to help you overcome the challenges of this difficult time
Visit The Royal Exchange this autumn to celebrate the vitality of community and rediscover the joy of sensory experiences within our welcoming boutiques and eateries. Read more about our Reconnect campaign here and let us know how you are reconnecting with the world on Instagram @theroyalexchange and Twitter @rexshopper