During Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, we have been speaking to a number of sports professionals and athletes. Here, we spoke with the founder of app development agency Digiruu and tech entrepreneur, Aman Birdi.
I have been in lockdown with… my family, which I'm very blessed to have because I know there's a lot of people out there who are spending their lockdowns alone, which could be quite challenging.
During this period, I have found it particularly difficult to… be away from friends. That's the biggest one I would say. It's definitely made me realise just how much our friends mean to us.
The thing I have done when I have felt down is… exercise! Whether that's simply going for a walk or performing HIIT. Exercise really helps, especially during times you really don't want to.
I have found it important to…reach out to friends and family, especially the ones you may not speak to every day just to check on how they're doing. You just never know what somebody is going through during this time.
My mental health is important to me because… essentially, it powers us. I know for a fact when I'm in a state of "good" mental health (feeling happy and optimistic) I'm naturally more energetic and confident. Importantly, being in this state allows me to make better decisions - whether that's in my personal life, relationships, business etc. I always make better decisions when I'm in a state of "good" mental health and that's why it's so important.
My biggest achievement during lockdown has been… well...there have been lot of achievements for me in this lockdown period, personally and in business! Digiruu has grown massively, and we're working with some incredible start-ups and businesses. I've become fitter and stronger than ever before. However, I think my biggest achievement has been (as cheesy as it sounds!) just being a better person. Checking in with friends and family, putting more effort in, showing the people I care about that I'm here if they need me.
As an organisation we have done… many things, but one of the things we've been doing actually before lockdown and still doing to this day is just checking in weekly with each member of the team. I've seen a whole bunch of initiatives that we can implement as an organisation such as ourselves for improving our mental health, and these are great, but what we've found that's working really well and that our staff really appreciates is just simply asking people how they are. It's that simple! Just letting them know you're there and that you care, and importantly that if there's anything related to mental health that they need help with, we're here for them. Mental health always comes first, before deadlines and urgent work. Our mental health and wellbeing always comes first, and that's something we always ensure everyone is aware of in the team.
The kindest thing someone has done for me during lockdown is… my friends, family and the people I care about most coming together without my knowing to get me the most amazing, surprise 30th birthday gift ever. Something I'll never forget!
The thing I am looking forward to most is… getting a haircut! Honestly, I think mainly just doing the things we used to take for granted - getting together with friends to simply watch a game of football. Bring on the Euros!
Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 10 to 16 May and we have spoken to a number of professionals across the sports industry about their mental wellbeing. To find out more about the services Premier Sports Network and our charity partner Beder provide to help promote positive me