We at Gannon Associates understand the challenges of our current situation, including the need to focus on mental health and well-being. We hope this document finds you well and the information from the Center for Workplace Mental Health will help you stay that way!
As many of us are finding ourselves working from home as a result of COVID-19, we face new challenges. It is natural in these uncertain times to feel anxious, stressed, and drained. Our daily routines are interrupted, and we may feel isolated from those we interact with in our day to day. As we navigate our “new normal” it becomes more important than ever to find new ways to work and be productive while also taking care of our mental health and wellbeing.
Keep a regular schedule. Try to create and maintain a routine and schedule. Set up a designated space for work and learning. Make a point to take breaking throughout the day to prevent burnout. Everyone’s schedule will look different. Here is a great sample of one:
|7:00 AM||Wake up, stretch, morning routine|
|7:30 AM||Breakfast and family time (No Screens)|
|8:30 AM – 12:00 PM||Work, short breaks every 30 – 60 minutes|
|12:00 PM – 1:00 PM||Lunch, Get fresh air and stretch or exercise|
|1:00 PM – 5:00 PM||Work, short breaks every 30 – 60 minutes|
|5:00 PM – 7:00 PM||Dinner and Screen Break|
|7:00 PM – 9:00 PM||Self Care Time|
Stay connected. Do your best to stay connected with your family and friends. Utilize technology such as facetime, skype, google hangout, etc. Talk to those who you trust about your fears and concerns. Chances are they feel the same and you can support each other.
Keep your immune system strong. Wash your hands often and for 20+ seconds at a time. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Eat well and stay hydrated. Take your vitamins. This time can be trying and keeping your system physically healthy will help you stay mentally healthy.
Get fresh air. If the weather is nice enough, get outside and go for walks or even just relax on your porch or deck. Remember to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing when venturing outside.
Stay informed. Knowledge is power. Stay updated on the efforts to combat the virus and do your best to remain informed on the latest updates from reliable sources. Try the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).
Limit media consumption. If you find yourself becoming stressed or anxious whenever you are continuously exposed to news or social media, avoid prolonged media consumption. It is important to stay informed but limit your media consumption if you need to.
Distract and redirect. Engage in activities that can benefit your wellbeing, bring joy, and distract you from your existing challenges. Try meditation or yoga, journaling, cooking, or a calming podcast.
Collaborate. Share tips with your co-workers and friends on what is working for you and listen to their tips. Come up with new ideas such as skype or google hangouts to see your friends and family and stay connected.
With so many companies and organizations requiring employees to stay out of the office, it is important to facilitate regular communication with employees. What can managers and HR professionals do to support employees? Understand that employees are likely feeling overwhelmed and anxious about circumstances related to the virus. Make yourself available to your staff to talk about fears, answer questions, and reassure them about work and other issues that may come up.
It is important to take care of your physical and mental health during this trying time. If you are feeling symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, call your primary care provider or visit your local hospital. Recognize your triggers and warning signs and know your limits. Do your best to stay connected to your coworkers, family, and friends. This time can be confusing and nerve wracking but taking steps to support your physical and mental health can help to mitigate the effects and make it a bit easier.
Links to Additional Reliable Resources
If you are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety or depression, reach out for support.
Crisis Text Line: Text 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255