The world looks very different day by day surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving a lot of uncertainty and concern for the future. Coupled with tight restrictions on what we’re able to do with our leisure time, it can be a struggle to not feel overwhelmed. Therefore, taking the correct steps to tackle mental health issues and prevent them from happening is critical, both for yourself and for other people.
Below, we outline how to remain positive and preserve some normality during this time.
Working from home
With a large majority of the nation shifting from their usual office setting to a desk at home for the first time, working remotely can be a strange experience – but do not fear. There’s lots of information out there to make the transition from what you’re used to, to being at home, as smooth and as stress free as possible.
Begin by getting yourself into the correct mindset. Go through your regular morning routine of showering and getting dressed and even consider using the extra time in the morning that you would usually spend commuting to your advantage. For example, you could spend this time making a great cup of coffee, a delicious breakfast, or doing some exercise.
Working from home can make your week very lonely, especially if you live by yourself. So, make sure that you’re not completely cutting yourself off from the people that you usually discuss ideas with on a day to day basis – the key to working remotely is consistent communication with your team.
Utilise modern technology to Zoom, make phone calls, to email or to converse on group chat platforms such as Microsoft Teams or WhatsApp, and be sure to check up on how your colleagues are feeling. When working remotely it’s wise to communicate more often than you usually would just to make sure you don’t miss out on any information.
Looking after your own wellbeing outside of working hours
Use the below steps as a guide to protect your wellbeing when not working, as best you can:
- Try to exercise and get out into the fresh air. This will give you some headspace and give you something else to focus on, helping to dampen any worries that you may have for a few hours each day.
- Make sure that you’re staying connected with your family and friends. We understand that you will be spending time away from your close relations in the event of social distancing, so keep in touch and socialise online regularly.
- Although staying connected through social media is important, it’s also important to limit this time, in particular when browsing. There’s so much content online talking about COVID-19, alongside a lot of fake news, which can become very consuming and draining. So, ensure that you stay updated on what’s going on, but make the effort to get away from it all too.
- Make your sleep a priority! Poor sleeping habits can be detrimental to your overall health, so make sure that you’re getting at least 7 and a half hours each day. Doing so will help to relieve any stress or worries that you may have, whilst also helping to keep your energy and productivity high when you’re awake.
- Speak to someone. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone if you are worried about how you feel. Whether this be your partner, a friend or a colleague, getting things off your chest will make a huge difference. If it is affecting your work or you think that it has the potential to, it’s critical to confide in your employer.
Looking after your employees
We understand that in these unprecedented times, the main focus is to make sure that your business continues to function, therefore mental health may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, as an employer, you should be doing everything that is within your power to ensure that employee wellbeing is on top form.
Organisations will always perform better when its staff are healthy and focused. Standing by and checking in on your employees in regard to their mental health will not only help you to retain your staff, but it will also send out a positive message about your business’s values.
A key step in combatting health issues mentally, is to create an environment in which staff can feel confident enough to report it, without fear of judgement or a fear over job security. A simple ‘are you ok?’ followed by an ‘are you sure?’ really can make all the difference.