Winter Outings Boost Mental Wellness at SMI

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Feb 23
SMI employees skiing at Sunday River.
Research shows that spending time outdoors is crucial for maintaining our health. This year, with COVID negatively impacting on our mental health, Strategic Media, Inc.’s CEO Jeff Small found it particularly important for staff to step away from their desks and enjoy outdoor activities. By sponsoring a ski trip, an ice skating outing, and a company-wide Mental Wellness Day, Small motivated employees to take some leisure time in an outdoor environment.  

“Winter in Maine offers so many fun activities,” Small said, “but it’s very easy to miss out if you don’t schedule the time. I knew the fresh air, vitamin D, and time to unwind would help everyone get a recharge during the week that they typically can’t make time for. My hope is that by encouraging everyone to do it during their normal work hours, it will spill into some new weekend adventures too.”

Much of the SMI staff has been working remotely, with little co-worker interaction outside of the video screen. Small wanted to present a safe outdoor environment for people to see one another, and the skiing and ice skating activities did just that.

“Skiing at Sunday River was really fun! [I] had a great time catching up with everybody outside of work,” said Vanessa Verrillo, Senior Account Manager, Client Services.



SMI’s company-wide Mental Wellness Day allowed staff to spend much-needed time outdoors with family members and pets.

Working remotely from Key West, Christina Baeten, Director of Client Services, celebrated SMI’s Mental Wellness day by pedal kayaking. “It was wonderful to take a midweek break away from the hustle and bustle to get some fresh air and exercise,” she said.

Employees near and far appreciated the opportunity to rest, recharge, and focus on their mental health.

“The mental health day was AMAZING!” said Emily Cashman, Client Services Account Coordinator. “We took my 7-month-old son sledding for the first time. He wasn’t too keen on actually sledding but he loved sitting in the snow! It was a day that I’ll always cherish and have some funny pictures of him pouting on the sled to show his friends in the future.”

“We’re so lucky to work for a company that values mental health as a part of overall wellness,” Cashman said. “SMI has always promoted health and wellness, but offering opportunities like this reminds us how important it is to take care of the whole person. Happy, healthy employees lead to a happy, healthy work environment. SMI understands that.”

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