A mental health journey with Tough Cookie

The last six months have been a whirlwind – for myself, and those around me. With global projects being on a time crunch, the various curveballs that COVID threw our way, and the absurdity that can arise on a day-to-day (in hindsight, it was really just life coming together – which is a mindset we were taught to adapt, but more on that later.)

Delta Partners organized an initiative with an organization called ‘Tough Cookie’, where every Delta globally had the opportunity to be involved in a ‘Mixed Mental Arts’ program. What this essentially entailed was gaining a better understanding of ourselves, our mental states, the way we operate, and the ability to see just how our outer worlds were a reflection of what was going on inside us.

Over the course of six weeks, we broke up into cohorts and embarked on this journey. We met every Thursday just after lunch, which was a peak busy time for all of us – but that was the point of the activity, to be able to pause for a moment of stillness during the hustle of the day.

There were various practices taught to us, a few highlights are:

  • The 4×4 box technique – as the name suggests, this method of relaxation involves taking deep breaths with your eyes closed while visualizing each breath forming a line, that ultimately makes the shape of a box. This can be done in under a minute and is great for a quick fix to calm down.
  • Gratitude practice – this is something most Deltas now follow. We were asked to discuss three things in our day that we were grateful for and share them with our cohort. The idea is that a moment spent in gratitude can turn your attitude around, and we noticed that it really did change things for us on the days we did practice it.
  • Power of positivity – this was by far the most rewarding exercise for me. We were split into breakout rooms, where we had to spend 5 minutes only complimenting our counterparts. People said the kindest things about one another, most of which go unnoticed.



My counterpart for this activity was Sara Sagnier, a consultant based in the Dubai office. Sara started off saying ‘I love your energy – it’s really warm and contagious.’ A small compliment, but to know that your energy is contagious truly is not something one would know if they aren’t told.

I found that this opened up doors for really authentic connection and an environment that fostered empowerment. We walked out of that session feeling really, really empowered.

When I asked Sara what her most profound learning was from our sessions with tough cookie, she said it that it was the ability to stop and regulate through the madness of her days, being able to see the positives in herself and others first, and her newly cultivated gratitude practices.

Alberto Pamias, a Senior Managing Director based in our Dubai office said “the big learning for me is that the mind, the most complex entity in the whole Universe, can be controlled by one of the simplest things in that same universe: (conscious) breathing. Something that we do subconsciously 15,000 times a day, every day.

A massive thank you to Tough Cookie, and everyone at Delta Partners who made this happen – it truly was a remarkable experience, and one that brought us at from different parts of the business and levels closer together in the most authentic way possible.



Authored by: Samrita Adwani, Global Marketing and PR Manager