While the UK faces further easing of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions, SAS Who Dares Wins Directing Staff Ollie Ollerton is promoting the benefits of investing in your own wellbeing.
Working alongside health services company Cigna, Ollie is hoping to remind people to focus on their own stress levels during this uncertain time.
According to the research by Cigna, 73% of people in the UK are stressed and more than half (51%) have noticed stress symptoms with a spouse or partner. He said:
“The old world that we used to know is not there anymore.
“This campaign ... is to help people start switching on to that so that they’re 100% dynamic for what’s ahead of us which is quite still unpredictable.”
Speaking to BFBS Radio’s Mark McKenzie, the former UK Special Forces soldier laughed about his old attitude towards looking after his own wellbeing. Ollie felt as though he should not show weakness or talk to loved ones about his concerns. He said:
“When I look back at the way I’ve dealt with my own mental health issues it makes me laugh now looking at how prehistoric I was in my approach to it because I was the typical alpha male.”
The SAS Who Dares Wins star is adamant that all people should listen to the advice given by Cigna, not just serving personnel, veterans or their families. He said:
“The military don’t own PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), the military don’t own mental health.
“There is no checklist to say you must have done X, Y and Z to qualify as someone who’s having issues.”
The former soldier turned author and public-speaker wants people to ‘check in’ with themselves and their loved ones and, if there is an area of concern, to delve deeper. Cigna has created several resources and tools to be able to do that without a "bull in a china shop kind of approach”. He said:
“... don't wait until you’ve crashed and burned before you start to understand that you need help.
“This is about prevention, it’s about maintenance."
LISTEN: Mark started by asking Ollie whether anyone calls him by his real name, Matthew?
How Does Ollie Relieve Stress?
When Ollie is not jumping out of planes or riding his motorbikes to alleviate stress, he can be found in his media studio enjoying some valuable ‘me time’. He values his time alone so much that he encourages others to do the same. He said:
“It’s the best investment in the world with the best return on investment once you start engaging with that.”
Now that he has become a published author, the Channel 4 star enjoys being able to reach people through his books. His next book project is a fiction which has the DNA and backbone of who he is as a character weaved through it. He said:
“My passion is to get that information and knowledge out there to people who need it and can use those tools which will help them develop."
Most importantly, Ollie recommends that people should check in with their family and friends. Do not assume that because you might be feeling OK today that your loved ones are too. He said:
“It’s important to check in. We worked in small four-man teams, but we never broke down to any less than two.
“Still to this day, I get messages on a regular basis from Foxy (fellow SAS Who Dares Wins Directing Staff, Jason Fox) and other mates as well.
“To have the big bear looking after me gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling.”
If you feel as though you need some support, visit cignacheckin.com