Fit Feb: helping team Vanti to feel good during lockdown

The cold winter months are normally a pretty miserable time. With the added pressures and isolation of lockdown, Alisha and Miles (part of the People Team at Vanti) decided to get us all moving, eating and drinking healthier, and trying new mindfulness activities. 

It comes as no surprise that when COVID-19 took hold of the UK in early 2020 that alongside the serious threat to physical health, there was also a looming mental health crisis.  

The statistics show just how serious the situation is with a quarter of adults living under lockdown in the UK experiencing loneliness

We try to care for our people as much as possible, they come first above everything else. But it is tough, and we’re not perfect yet. Fit Feb came about as a way to give our team a little boost when it was needed most. 

What is Fit Feb? 

Alisha and Miles, part of the People Team, are responsible for welfare at Vanti.  

Realising the effects that the pandemic could have on mental and physical wellbeing, they wanted to promote healthy habits to give everyone a boost during a tricky time. 

At the core of Fit Feb was the idea that participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. So, throughout all of February, they set daily challenges for everyone to get involved in. However, the challenges transcended physical activity and also included elements of healthy eating as well as mindfulness activities. This was to be as inclusive as possible but also because mental health is every bit as important as physical health. 

Some of the tasks seemed easy but were deceptively challenging, like making sure to drink 800ml water in a day. 

However, some were pretty tough, like a 30-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that had us exhausted! 

It was amazing to see some team members take their own initiative and start new fitness goals; there was a subset of Vanti people who took on daily plank challenges! 

How did we all feel for it? 

We have a very tight-knit team at Vanti, so the lockdowns, social distancing, and extensive periods of remote working have left us all feeling a little isolated. As an organisation, we have lots of processes in place to help support our people but it’s still been very hard and we know we could be doing more. 

Running the daily challenges meant loads of Slack activity in the #health-and-wellbeing channel.  

People were sharing selfies when getting their steps in, stories of new running personal bests, and their fitness journeys. It was really encouraging and created a super positive atmosphere. 

So, in the short-term Fit Feb promoted new healthy habits that got us in a better place physically and mentally. But because we were sharing and talking more, it brought us all a little closer together during a very isolating time.