Our working lives have been changing for a while now – but the emergence of coronavirus (Covid-19) has led to a massive change, more uncertainty, and new challenges for many of us. Millions around the globe have made a sudden transition to remote work. Not surprisingly, this has some employers concerned about maintaining employee productivity. But what they really should be concerned about in this unprecedented situation is a longer-term risk that Covid-19 might amplify: Employee burnout, Mental health, and Well-being of both the employees and the managers.
Even for employees who have a natural preference to separate their work and personal lives, the current circumstances may not allow them to do so. Now that is summer here, and summer camps and other activities may no longer be an option, placing additional burdens on working parents. Some companies that already encourage employees to work from home are likely to have some trouble supporting staff who face the many challenges of working at home in the presence of their families.
Now more than ever, everyone must take care of our mental health and well-being. As we protect ourselves against potential exposure from the coronavirus, keep in mind that social distancing does not mean social isolation.
Here are 5 tips to follow as we continue to manage our mental health & well-being:
CREATE A ROUTINE AND STICK TO THE SCHEDULE
We are creatures of habit and when our routine is suddenly disrupted, we go through several emotions such as helplessness, despair, anger, and frustration. To get back control, you will have to mimic your previous routine as close as possible. Many people would say their flexible schedule is the best part of working remotely, but it is how you organize those hours in your day that makes all the difference.
When you organize your tasks and outline your goals, you mentally prepare yourself for what to expect during the day. It is easier to work towards achieving the daily goals you create, rather than vaguely working towards them.
GET UP AND MOVE
Fight the urge to stay desk-bound and continue to schedule active time to get your heart pumping. Go for a walk or bike ride, stretch, or do yoga, practice a hip-hop dance video on YouTube - whatever floats your boat. When you exercise daily for 20 to 30 minutes, it can significantly lower anxiety levels and our help our brain produce more serotonin, a chemical which acts as a mood stabilizer to help to relieve depression and reduce stress. Working out can help you relax and distract your mind from problems at work.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Introvert or extrovert, humans are all inherently social. Communication is key. When working remotely, make sure to communicate regularly - give feedback, check in, have chats. All of this contributes to a sense of connection.
And it’s okay to chat about non-business topics from time to time! Using tools like Slack and Zoom are important for meetings, but make sure to take a bit of time to allow people to chat casually as well. It is important to maintain that human connection between and camaraderie amongst employees.
LIMIT MEDIA CONSUMPTION
The news is great for updates and to stay abreast of current affairs, but it is important to monitor your media consumption for your mental health and well-being. Avoid continuous exposure to news, and social media that may trigger or elevate anxiety, stress, or panic. Stay informed by following few, authoritative resources, but know your limits.
ENCOURAGE PERSONAL PLANNING AND SELF-CARE
Encourage your staff to plan for how they will manage under self-isolation, or quarantine. Taking care of yourself is important for physical health, but is also a valuable affirmation of your own self-worth. Resist the urge to wallow on the couch with a box of chocolates when you are feeling down. Taking goo care of yourself by fueling your body with healthy food (and going easy on the booze) is also a form of self-care, which can help elevate your general mental well-being.
Everyone handles stress and change in variety of ways. Whether you experience a mental health condition or not, please be aware of triggers or that mental health is a serious issue, so treat them as such. Managing stress is a key factor in personal development, professional growth, maintaining healthy relationships, and a healthy lifestyle.
Dean’s Professional Services is committed to providing tools and resources to support professionals in our community, we would like to GIFT you with a FREE stress management course to offer tools and techniques that can be used to manage stress. Take care of yourself and each other.