Diverse Approaches to Mental Well-Being of the Innovecs Team

May 13, 2024 8 min read

Mental Health Awareness Week, taking place May 13-19, is a vital reminder of the importance of mental well-being in our lives. For over two decades, the week has promoted techniques for reducing stress and highlighting the value of mental health support.

In today’s fast-paced, often remote work environments, it is increasingly crucial to prioritize mental health to enhance people’s well-being and foster healthier communities. As part of Innovecs’ core value of Care, we actively organize initiatives to support the mental health of our team members. It’s equally important, however, to remember that personal time and self-care play a paramount role in our overall well-being.

Let us share how the Innovecs team engages with activities and habits that support their mental well-being, illustrating the practical steps we can all take to care for our mental health.

Nuno Barbosa, Client Partner at Innovecs


In this world of remote work, it’s fundamental to maintain active personal relationships, whether with friends, family, or teammates. When working from home, ensure you stay in touch with these people, or consider working in a location where you can interact with them.

Besides that, it is necessary to keep yourself mentally healthy by clearly separating your home from work, especially since your home is also your workplace.

When I finish my work, I go outside and practice a sport. In my case, I play tennis. Sometimes, I grab a coffee with someone or walk by the sea if I am in Portugal. Keeping your mind active is essential. During your breaks, take a moment to pause your work — this helps make sure you remain healthy. Focus on your hobbies and the people in your life to maintain a balanced life.

Olena Ratova, Delivery Manager at Innovecs

Regular physical activity positively influences our physical and mental well-being. Yoga makes your body strong and flexible, reducing the risk of injuries. However, yoga is not only about physical practice; it also involves a spiritual component. Meditation and breathing exercises are integral parts of yoga, and they help calm the mind, improve mood, remove anxiety, and set a positive tone. I am a 100% advocate for yoga because I feel its healing impact and see it in others. However, like any practice, consistency is key.

I have been practicing yoga for over 12 years. Before that, I was a professional dancer, but I had to give it up after a severe injury. Yoga helped me overcome the depression caused by the sudden end of my dancing career, both physically and psychologically. Fortunately, I found a coach who made me fall in love with yoga and showed me its many facets. I almost gave up due to travel or not finding the right coaches.

For the past three years, I have been practicing regularly, and not only has it kept my back free from problems despite a sedentary job, but it has also had an incredible emotional effect. Yoga practices soothe, reduce anxiety, and balance thoughts when overwhelmed. In today’s world, where people are constantly stressed, having a hobby that helps combat stress is a must-have. When I want to relax, stretch, or meditate before sleep, I light some incense sticks, lay out my yoga mat, and magic happens.

Svitlana Rumiantseva, Senior Delivery Manager at Innovecs


In Ukraine’s new reality, we face a constant uncertainty that triggers stress, insecurity, and the fear of taking action. Self-defense courses, tactical medical training, and firearms handling are not only about preparing for war but also about building personal confidence. The more I understand how weapons work, what my body can do in combination with them, and how to behave in critical situations, the more confident I feel living here and now, without the fear I had a year ago. I know what I am capable of, and this significantly reduces my stress levels because I am creating a risk plan that covers the most unpredictable aspects of our reality. Self-defense training is not sufficient for actual combat, but it is enough to increase the predictability of my future for a peaceful sleep.

I first signed up for a self-defense course in the winter of 2023 during my husband’s rotation to the East. Retrospectively, I want to feel closer to him and the circumstances a significant part of our society faces. When you can’t influence events, your level of anxiety relentlessly spikes. I don’t like this feeling, so I tried to create similar but safe conditions where I could have some control. As a result, I gained much more: an expanded network of proactive people, support within the community, and new knowledge, skills, and experience, which I hope I will face only in training ranges. But if not, it won’t surprise me, and thinking about it doesn’t raise my blood pressure.

Oleksii Ponomarov, Software Engineer at Innovecs

For me, a hobby is an essential part of life. My hobby is music, and it truly heals the soul. How does it work? First, it shifts your focus. While playing, you distract yourself from negative thoughts. Secondly, it facilitates self-actualization and allows you to express yourself creatively. No matter how bad you feel, pick up the guitar, play a few chords, and immediately feel better.

My choice of hobby was quite accidental. My older brothers have played the guitar for as long as I can remember. In my teenage years, I became interested and asked them to show me a few chords. When I held the guitar, I instantly felt that this was my passion and instrument. When I learned everything I could, I took private lessons from wonderful jazz guitarists in Kyiv — Volodymyr Voshkolup, Oleksandr Pavlov, Serhiy Ovsyannikov, and Denys Dontsov.

Lately, I’ve been investing much effort into writing, recording, and releasing original songs. This gives me a sense of completion. A song goes through many stages before its release: you create harmony, melody, and lyrics, arrange the parts, record in the studio, listen through numerous takes, design or choose a cover, and so on. And when you see it on streaming platforms after all that, it’s hard to hold back tears of joy. It’s a powerful incentive to live and create more.

I have two musical projects — an ensemble named “CHAS” and a duo with my wife Oksana, which we call “My Best Friend.” The first song by my band, “CHAS,” titled “Into the Sands,” was released last year, and the debut song of our duo, “Stay Forever,” is scheduled for release this June.

Hobbies, in general, and music, in particular, help with any difficulties in life. That’s why I believe everyone should have a hobby. It can be any activity — sports, dancing, board game clubs, birdwatching — something that recharges you and gives you the strength to keep moving forward.

Mariia Gerasymiak, Senior PR & Communications Specialist at Innovecs


For most of my life, I’ve never had problems with sleep. I would fall asleep quickly, sleep through the night, and wake up rested. However, after the start of the full-scale invasion, along with high workloads and launching my projects, it became difficult for me to fall asleep. I have never suffered from insomnia, but even a slight deterioration in sleep quality significantly impacted my well-being and efficiency. I added walks and physical exercises to my routine when I felt like doing nothing. I do sports at a comfortable pace, including relaxing and power yoga, as well as other exercises that suit my body. If I don’t skip these activities and perform them regularly every day or at least every other day, the quality of my sleep noticeably improves.

I love coffee, but I realized drinking several cups during the day was unsuitable for my body. Now, I only drink coffee in the morning and prefer other beverages throughout the day, like chicory, which tastes similar to coffee and is healthier since it’s caffeine-free. Additionally, I add a significant amount of fresh vegetables and fiber to my diet, which benefits my overall well-being and sleep quality.

Lastly, reading, especially literature with less dramatic plots, helps switch from high activity and screen time, preparing my body for sleep.

Final Thoughts

These stories highlight the critical role of self-care and proactive mental health management in maintaining personal health and contributing to a supportive and understanding community. This week reminds us that mental health is a continuous journey integral to living a balanced and fulfilling life. 

Taking care of our mental health is not a luxury but a necessity, crucial for our ability to thrive in all areas of life.

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