We’re going to back to basics at our ActiveQuote HQ to discover the lost art of conversation and life in the slow lane!

In July, we’re promoting simplicity by encouraging staff to switch off their mobiles and take note of what’s happening around them. And we’re hoping the effects will be so rewarding that, when our awareness month ends, new habits will continue!

July 12 is National Simplicity Day, a chance to focus less on gadgets and more on each other and our environment. The annual event was created in honour of philosopher, naturalist and reformer Henry David Thoreau, who was born on July 12 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau was an advocate of living simply, writing a number of books on the subject and spending more than two years living in Walden Woods.

Life in the 21st century is fast-paced and often frenetic, with many of us experiencing burn-out and mental health problems. Phones, laptops, tablets and smart speakers make it much harder to truly find stillness and peace, but National Simplicity Day offers a chance to switch off and reconnect; with each other, with nature and with ourselves. 

Sales support manager Tracy Carwardine said: “2019 is flying past and, with a phase of significant business growth, we’re looking forward to exciting times ahead. However, amongst the busy-ness we want July to be the month in which our staff take time for yourselves. 

“We’re promoting simplicity and going back to basics, such as embracing the art of talking. Once upon a time there were no mobile phones! We want staff to get to know one another and are encouraging colleagues to put their phones down when they’re on a break or in a communal space and start a conversation with whoever is in there.

 “By embracing simplicity, we can all slow down a little, be in the moment and notice the small things. It will really boost our wellbeing and make our office an even happier place to be!”

If you’re feeling stressed or experiencing anxiety or depression, it’s good to talk to someone who will listen in confidence, without judging you. This could be a close friend or family member or a counsellor. You might be amazed to discover how many health insurers now offer support such as psychotherapy, remote counselling and addiction treatment - take a look at Bupa’s new extended mental health cover, for example, to see what’s available. 

Even if your mental health is great, we’re firm believers that making wellbeing a priority is something we should all do! Read our 10 small steps to boost your mental health - then switch your phone or computer off and enjoy the sound of silence!