Say hi to Zimo!
I’m Zimo and I’ve just joined Sanctus as the team’s first Product Manager. I’m super excited to be joining and to get started building solutions that help people live their best lives in the workplace and at home.
Throughout my career I’ve been drawn to enterprises with a social impact. I feel strongly about providing every human with what they need to not only survive but also thrive, whatever that looks like for them. I’ve dedicated my time to problems like providing remote long-term diabetic care for people in urban and rural areas of Ghana to enabling more diversity and inclusion in the workplace by working to solve the widespread problem of bias and discrimination in recruitment.
The pandemic jolted me (and many others) to take stock of my personal life and re-prioritise what was important to me. In my daily life prior to the pandemic, I tended to neglect working on or even think about my mental health, always focusing on the physical aspects of my well-being. But mental health has been put at the forefront of our collective consciousness because we have all been struggling in some shape or form over the last year.
For me it’s been a long struggle with anxiety. When I look back, I can see how my anxiety has had a positive effect on my working life – it’s meant I’ve become adept at managing the risks of project failures, working ahead of time and being super prepared. But it’s had a negative impact on my personal life and that really came out during the pandemic. With very few distractions at home, all you can do is sit around and think about how plans you had for the year wouldn’t happen, your anxiety runs rampant and you start obsessing.
Thankfully, in the post-pandemic world, we have started to talk about our mental health more openly. It’s been amazing to see the stories coming from icons in every sphere talking about their struggles with mental health. I’ve learned a lot about self-care and self-compassion, but perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is that like my physical health, I need to take a proactive approach to my mental health. Things like daily walks and running have transformed my life over the last year and taught me healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
But along side that I’ve been discovering daily practices that have helped me to stop negative mental patterns in their tracks. I’ve learned how to reframe my anxiety into a positive feeling of excitement. I’ve learned to face my fears (where anxiety often stems) doing things like imagining and verbalising the worst possible outcome of a situation. Activities like this are common in the mental health space but are rarely known or practiced outside of that.
And while making sure we continue to educate and inform, education is not enough on its own. The next step is to actively reduce the barriers in accessing the right kind of support, when and where people need it. That’s what’s driven me to join Sanctus on it’s mission to normalise talking about and working on your mental health. My hope is that we’ll be able to fundamentally change the way the world works. I know it will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it!